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Orzo Pasta Salad

Mediterranean-inspired Orzo Pasta Salad with fresh cherry tomatoes, olives, red onion, sweet corn, parsley, feta cheese, and a delicious lemon dressing.
Course Dinner, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword orzo pasta salad
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 6 servings, as a side
Calories 369kcal
Cost $7.35

Ingredients

Salad

  • 12 ounces orzo pasta
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (1 pint) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (1 pint) yellow grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cups Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 and 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (and more for topping if desired)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion (Note 1)
  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dressing

  • 1 large lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar

Instructions

  • DRESSING: Start with the dressing so the flavors have time to meld and intensify. Zest a lemon to get 2 teaspoons zest. Juice the lemon to get 3 tablespoons juice. Place zest and juice in a large Mason jar. Add the olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper). Put the lid on the jar, shake to combine and refrigerate while preparing the salad.
  • SALAD: Bring a pot of water to a boil, generously salt the water, and cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water and allow to cool thoroughly.
  • VEGGIES: Meanwhile, prep the veggies. Halve the tomatoes and olives, finely dice the red onion (See Note 1), and the parsley. Add all the veggies to a large bowl. Add in the feta cheese. If desired, grill corn (See Note 2). Cut the kernels from the cob (you don't have to cook the corn; you can add it in raw too for a nice crunch!). Pour dressing over salad and toss. Taste and season as needed with additional salt and/or pepper. Store in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Toss right before serving. This salad is best enjoyed the same day it is made.

Video

Notes

Note 1: To take away the "bite" of the red onion, soak the diced onions in cold water for 10 minutes. Drain thoroughly before adding.
Note 2: Preheat a grill to medium-high, around 400 degrees F. Once hot, clean the grill grates. Remove the husks and silk from the corn. Pour about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil on each corn cob and rub the oil into all the sides. Very lightly sprinkle all sides with salt and pepper. Place corn on grill grates (nothing needs to go down first/don't wrap in foil) and close grill. Cook (temps remaining at 400F) for about 3 minutes per side undisturbed. Using tongs, rotate and continue cooking, for about 12 minutes total. When all sides are browned, remove from the grill onto a plate.

Nutrition

Calories: 369kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 716mg | Potassium: 494mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 682IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 229mg | Iron: 2mg