This simple and easy orzo salad uses all the freshest vegetables, salty feta and a tangy lemony vinaigrette. Great with grilled or roasted chicken, pork, lamb and seafood.
Course Side Dish
Keyword orzo, pasta, red onion, tomato, zucchini
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Total Time 50minutes
1red bell pepper
sprinkle of kosher salt and grind of pepper
1cupcherry or grape tomatoesI used red and yellow grape tomatoes
1lemonzested and juiced
Fill a pot halfway with water and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring the pot to a boil and add the orzo pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally for 9-10 minutes for al dente, or according to package directions. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and drain. Set aside.
For grilling vegetables
Heat the grill to high heat, about 450 degrees. Place the red pepper directly on the grates.
Slice the zucchini into rounds, crosswise about 1/2-3/4" thick. Chunk the red onion into 1" pieces.
If grilling, skewer the zucchini slices (skewer on the thin side, so that more of the flesh can get the char of the grill). Separate the layers of onion and loosely skewer. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil over the onion and zucchini and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
For roasting vegetables - if you don't have a grill
If you're not using a grill, heat your oven to 450. Place the red pepper in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Place onion and zucchini chunks on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat the vegetables. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove onions and zucchini and set aside to cool.
Place whole pepper in a small bowl covered with plastic wrap, or in a paper bag with the top folded over and sealed. Let the pepper sit in the bowl or bag until cooled to room temperature. Remove the skin from the outside of the pepper and discard - it should peel right off. Remove the stem and seeds. Cut the pepper into bite sized chunks.
Assemble the salad
In a large bowl, combine, orzo, red pepper, zucchini, onion, olives, tomatoes, green onions, parsley and feta cheese. Toss to combine.
In a small bowl combine the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, dijon, garlic, oregano, kosher salt and black pepper. Stir together until dressing has emulsified. Add dressing to the orzo salad and toss to coat. Serve chilled or at room temperature.