This herby orzo salad is a crowd favorite and full of Greek flavors, bursting with fresh dill and mint, feta cheese, and tangy lemon.
“What’s the best way to eat healthy, delicious food?” While there’s no black-and-white answer to this question, Alex and I like to say this. GROW HERBS. Sounds a little round-about, right? Why would growing herbs make you eat healthier?
Here’s what we think: caring for herbs requires slowing down. You’re forced to embrace the season and get your hands dirty, something easily avoided in the glow of a smartphone screen. And when you add herbs to your cooking, they take a dish from ordinary to incredible without adding calories. Herbs say this dish is special. Herbs add flavor, nuance, satisfaction. So while it may not look like it, this Greek orzo salad is everything about our philosophy on cooking, health, life and community, all wrapped up into one dish. It’s all about living deliciously. Keep reading for more about what this means, cooking with herbs, and this herbaceous orzo salad!
- 8 ounces orzo pasta (1 1/4 cup dry)
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 lemon, juice and zest (about 2 tablespoons juice)
- 1/4 cup minced shallot or red onion
- 1/2 English cucumber (2 cups diced, or substitute a peeled standard cucumber)
- 2 roasted red peppers from a jar or 1/2 fresh red bell pepper (1/2 cup diced)
- 1/3 cup chopped dill, plus more for garnish
- 1/3 cup chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, halved
- Black pepper
- Prepare the orzo according to the package instructions. Taste the orzo a few minutes before completion to ensure it’s ‘al dente’ (chewy, but with a little firmness in the center). When it’s done, drain it and then rinse it under cold water until it comes to room temperature.
- Place the chickpeas in a bowl with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
- Mince the red onion, then place it in a bowl with water (this helps to remove the sharp onion taste). Dice the cucumber. Dice the roasted red pepper. Chop the herbs.
- Stir together the orzo, chickpeas and bowl of lemon juice, red onion, cucumber, red pepper, dill, mint, white wine vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, oregano, feta crumbles, black olives, and several grinds of black pepper. Taste and if necessary, season with more kosher salt.