Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
For the past 27 hours or so (not that I was counting) we have been without internet. I mean, what is a girl to do when the internet is down, she is snowed in and her phone doesn’t work without wi-fi in the house?
Well, this girl cooks and bakes. Paul kept saying “well, maybe this is a sign that you need to slow down.” Um…not really. I just had to improvise. No looking up recipes online; instead, I dug through my cookbooks. No Instagramming; instead I just took random shots with my phone (which I’ll share a little later today.) No Facebook; and truthfully – I didn’t miss it.
All-in-all, an internet-less, data-free cold, snowy day proved itself to be quite productive around here. I have lots of fun stuff to share with you in the coming weeks and found out that I could really, really, really use a phone/internet-free day more often.
So this orzo pasta salad – another of my quick lunch ideas with TONS of flavor – Greek flavors, that is. Spinach, feta, olives, banana peppers, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs, you get the idea…
So flavorful, so simple and sure to please a crowd for a simple side dish or quick weekday lunch!
Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
Yield: 4 as a main dish; 6 as a side
Total Time: 25 min
A simple orzo pasta salad with Greek flavors - tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, banana peppers, spinach and herbs. Perfect for a simple lunch or side dish.
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 mushrooms, roughly diced (about 1 cup)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 can (2.25 ounce) sliced black olives
2 Tbs. banana peppers, chopped
2 Tbs. lemon juice (about half a lemon)
2 cups baby spinach, packed
2 Tbs. pesto (store-bought)
1/4 cup feta cheese + more for garnish
Cook the orzo according to package directions.
While the orzo cooks, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallot, garlic and a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat until the onion begins to soften. Add the mushrooms, oregano and thyme and stir, cook another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are softened.
Add the tomatoes, olives, banana peppers, lemon juice and stir, and add the spinach. Continue to cook until the spinach wilts and then add the pesto and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper and add the cooked orzo. Serve with additional feta for garnish.
Salt and pepper to taste.
If you don't like an ingredient included, feel free to swap it out for more of something else you like. Try some slivered almonds, additional veggies or add some chicken or fish.