Easy, Low-Fat Recipe: Summertime Orzo Pasta Salad
Summertime Orzo Pasta Salad
1/4 pound of dry orzo pasta
1 large vine-ripe tomato
1/4 cup of kalamata olives
1/2 cup of jarred marinated artichoke hearts
4 ounces of chunk reduced fat feta cheese
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of fresh oregano, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Start by boiling 2 quarts of water with a pinch of salt. Once it's come to a boil, add your orzo pasta and cook for 9 minutes, until al dente. Strain the pasta and toss with the olive oil, then set aside to cool.
Next, dice your tomatoes into 1/4 inch pieces. When cutting tomatoes to incorporate into a salad, I like to remove the pulpy, seedy interior -- it only waters your salad down and provides very little flavor. Scooping the seeds out with your fingers works best.
Along with the tomatoes, dice a 4-ounce hunk of reduced fat feta cheese into 1/4-inch cubes. You could just as easily use pre-crumbled feta cheese, but I like the meaty bite that chunk feta adds to the salad.
Next, roughly chop about half a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, being sure to drain as much of the oil as possible. Do the same with your kalamata olives. I like to cut them into circles like you'd see in a can of black olives (only these taste way better).
Finally, gently mix all the above vegetables into your cooled orzo. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and squeeze the juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lemon over the top. Then, the finishing touch: a scattering of fresh oregano, roughly chopped.
The pasta is light, summery, and makes a perfect accompaniment to almost any grilled meal. Enjoy!