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.
My husband gave me a wonderful Christmas gift this year. He knows that I love to cook and I also love salads. His other reason for getting me this gift has a bit of a story! If you have seen the Claim Jumper Thai Coleslaw recipe in this blog then you saw the recipe for the dressing. I brought the coleslaw to a BBQ this summer but didn’t put the dressing on until we go there. I put the dressing in a small water bottle that I’v had for several years (it’s from Starbucks when they first came out with water bottles)! Well that wasn’t the best idea because the smell of the dressing leaked into the plastic in the water bottle. So now when ever the water bottle gets used, you smell the dressing as you go to take a drink! Oops!!
So in an effort to combat that little problem my husband found this salad dressing bottle and bought it for me! The cool thing about it is that it has recipes right on the bottle and shows you where to fill the liquid up to instead of measuring with another container.
This dressing that I made a few nights ago, I used on a spinach and chicken salad. It was really good but I still have plenty leftover. I don’t have a picture of the dressing but I’m assuming you know what salad dressing looks like! Enjoy!
Italian Herb Dressing
source: Storables salad dressing container
Dash of Salt and Pepper
3 tsp groung Thyme
3 tsp ground Oregano
3 tsp dried Basil
3 TB Olive Oil
6 oz Balsamic Vinegar
Put in a container and shake well. Serve.
I made this a few weeks ago when I was craving, what else, but an Asian Chicken Salad. I found this recipe on Cooking Light’s website. That site really has become my go to site when I need a recipe. My mom subscribes to the magazine and she gives me them when she is done. I just go through them and tear out the recipes I like, which is just about all of them and toss the magazine. I love it! I don’t have a picture to go with this recipe because my camera was on the fritz at the time.
Asian Chicken Salad
source: Cooking Light: My Recipes
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon bottled ground fresh ginger (such as Spice World)
1 teaspoon honey
6 cups gourmet salad greens
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1 cup snow peas, trimmed and cut lengthwise into thin strips
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
1. Combine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and honey in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add salad greens, chicken, carrots, and snow peas; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with almonds.
4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)
I found this recipe in my newest Everyday Food magazine and instantly knew I had to make it for the potluck we were going to on the 3rd. We have some family friends who have a house on a local lake (Big Lake, unique name, I know! It gets better, we also have Little Mountain and Clear Lake!). The Big Lake Fire Department puts on a show on the 3rd of July and it is always great. We won’t talk about the cloudy, muggy weather that made it difficult to see the bottom half of the fireworks!!
This recipe was easy to put together the morning of the party! I also liked this recipe because it didn’t contain any mayonnaise, which is always a bit scary to bring to a sunny picnic or barbecue. Enjoy!
Emeril’s Macaroni Salad
source: Everyday Food
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into strips
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (2 ounces)
- 1/4 cup pitted Cerignola olives (or your favorite olives), sliced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni until al dente. In a small skillet, cook prosciutto over medium until crisp; discard fat.
- Combine shallot, vinegar, and mustard in a large bowl; whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream. Add tomato, cheese, prosciutto, olives, and capers.
- Drain pasta; add to bowl with tomato mixture, and toss. Add parsley; season with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature, and serve.