I am summer lovin’ this Orzo Pasta Salad right now filled with fresh summer vegetables and herbs.

Orzo Pasta Salad

Okay, so we have officially made the move back to the big apple. I am settling in and have begun to unpack the kitchen (a bit). I can’t wait to work on some new recipes, but in the meantime I have some oldies, but goodies to share—and they are perfect for summer.

This brings me to my thoughts about moving. It is terrible. But, there is a bright side, which I recently discovered. In the weeks leading up to the big move, you have to completely clean out your pantry. Ugh, this is awful, I know, but it leads to the rediscovery of some amazing products. Like all the leftover pasta and grains pushed to the back of the cabinet. Yeah, those little guys hidden back there—like you, orzo pasta.

Orzo Pasta Salad

I discovered half a box of orzo pasta and with the summer heat, pasta salad was happening. I used some fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and spinach to give it some texture. A light lemon dressing was drizzled on top for a hint of citrus. And I chopped up fresh mint to give it some herbaceous flavor. And no dish is ever complete without cheese, so crumbled feta was the winning touch.

Of course you can use any kind of pasta that you have hidden in the back of your pantry. But generally pasta salads use smaller pastas, think penne, shells, rotini (spirals), or farfalle (bow ties). Just keep it light, refreshing, and full of flavor.

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Orzo Pasta Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Orzo Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon diced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • For the Salad:
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 cups diced cucumbers, seeded
  • 2 cups sliced spinach
  • ½ cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint, plus leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the orzo and cook until tender, about 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and place into a large bowl to cool slightly.
  2. While the pasta is cooling slightly, in a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper until smooth.
  3. To the pasta, add in the diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and spinach and stir to combine. Slowly pour in the dressing and toss to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving or serve slightly warm.
  4. Before serving, mix in the feta cheese and mint. Garnish with extra feta crumbles and mint leaves.
http://www.sagerecipes.com/2015/07/15/orzo-pasta-salad/

Orzo Pasta Salad