A few years ago, I was dating and wanted to make a yummy, “she’s an awesome cook” dinner for a really sweet, cute, funny guy I had invited over for a little tête-à-tête. I threw some chicken on the BBQ and decided to try to make a version of pasta salad I saw in magazine somewhere. I couldn’t remember all the ingredients only the gist of the salad. It had a Mediterranean flair to it. I took a chance and whipped up my own version of the pasta salad that night. Lo and behold, my date gobbled it up. He loved it! He’s now my boyfriend. Maybe my Boyfriend Orzo Salad….er…I mean… my Mediterranean Orzo Salad had something to do with it. ? I make it for him often since he loves it so much.
Here’s a little confession about when I was taking pictures of making this Mediterranean Pasta Salad for this post; I got so carried away making the pasta salad, I forgot that I had a plan to take a great picture of all the ingredients in a pie type of formation on the top of the cooked orzo. I had mixed the onions thoroughly into the orzo before I realized my error. I stood staring at the onions and orzo all mixed together and almost cried. GAH!
Since you can’t really un-mix onions from the orzo they were not in the pie formation picture below. You can see the parsley, pine nuts, feta and olives…but no onions. It’s still a nice depiction of most of the ingredients.
I always use the same ingredients for this pasta salad but I don’t usually measure them. In the recipe below, I’ve shown an estimate of how much I use of each ingredient but you can mix it up a bit and change the measurements depending on your preference. I happen to like all the ingredients equally, so I use a lot of each one except the onion. I love onions but they can be overwhelming if there is too much. For that dinner date I mentioned earlier with my now boyfriend, I barely used any onion for obvious reasons…. Wink wink.
I hope you make my Mediterranean Orzo Salad aka Boyfriend Orzo Salad. If you do, please let me know! ?
- 2 cups of orzo uncooked
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup of loosely packed Italian parsley leaves chopped
- 1 cup of feta cheese crumbled or chopped into small pieces
- 1 cup of chopped Kalamata olives
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- 1 cup of toasted pinenuts
- Juice of 3 small or 2 medium lemons about 2 tablespoons
Cook the orzo according to the directions on the package. Once the orzo is done and drained, rinse with cold water. You’ll want the orzo to be warm not hot. Transfer the warm orzo into a large bowl. Stir in the olive oil and mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Salt and pepper the orzo salad to your liking and serve. Enjoy!
One thing that I found useful while making this salad is to chop and toast, as necessary, all the ingredients while the orzo is cooking. Once the orzo is done and has been rinsed under cold water, you’ll want to be able to mix everything immediately and serve it warm. This Mediterranean Orzo Salad also holds up really well in the refrigerator for about 3 days, if there’s any left.