I will admit that I bought some of the ingredients for this salad on a total whim! I was in the pasta aisle in the grocery store when what should appear to my wandering eye but pasta on sale, 3 for $5. How can I say no? It’s like a Buy One Get One Half Off sale on shoes. You can’t pass it up. So I tossed the pasta I was there for into the cart and I tossed in another box of a kind I knew we would need eventually and then I decided to toss in the orzo in hopes of making this salad eventually.
I was inspired by a former coworker who now teaches at a different school. Whenever we had potluck type gatherings she would bring this salad. I always asked for the recipe but got the ever classic, “Oh! It’s so easy! I just toss a little of this and a little of that in and viola!” Argh! I don’t do well with that type of response when I’ve never made the recipe. So I searched all over the internet for a recipe that sounded like it would taste similar to the fabulous salad Sue always brought. I added a few extra ingredients to the recipe to suit my own tastes. I thought it turned out wonderful. I suggest making this for a large gathering rather than just two people otherwise you will be eating this for a week, like me!!
Orzo, Feta, and Tomato Salad with Marjoram Vinaigrette
- 1 pound orzo
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered
- 1 English cucumber, seeded and chopped I added this
- 24 ounces cherry tomatoes, stemmed, halved
Cook orzo in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well. Transfer to large bowl.
Whisk lemon juice, 5 teaspoons marjoram, mustard, and lemon peel in small bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Set aside 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Add remaining vinaigrette, cheese, onions, and olives to orzo; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate salad and remaining vinaigrette separately.)
Toss tomatoes with reserved vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix tomatoes into orzo. Sprinkle orzo with remaining 1 teaspoon marjoram and serve.