Orzo Salad with Basil, Feta, and Dried Cherries

This salad is light but surprisingly filling. It is perfect as a side dish or light meal. To make it more substantial consider adding some baked tofu or supplementing the recipe with more veggies.

Below is a picture of my precious herb garden. I love cooking with dried herbs and spices, but I am definitely partial to fresh herbs. When my mom decided to build a vegetable garden in our backyard she was considerate enough to leave this special space right in the middle for me to plant whatever herbs I liked. And man did the herbs grow fast! This picture was taken only a few weeks after planting little herb plants of only a few sprigs each.

I plan on creating a little herb garden at my duplex in Berkeley as well, even if it won’t be as nice as this pretty space. The size constraints of my little windowsill soil box are unfortunately going to force me to pick sides. Lets just say cilantro probably won’t be in the mix anymore (no offense to any cilantro fans out there). I guess I’ll just have to plan ahead with a grocery run if I plan on making mexican food.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces orzo
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 cup fresh arugula (about 1 ounce), torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Cook orzo according to package directions. I brought 2.5 quarts water to a boil and cooked the orzo for 4 minutes, which left the pasta perfectly al-dente for this recipe. Drain the orzo thoroughly and transfer to a bowl. Toss the pasta with 1 tablespoon oil and set aside to cool. You may wish to speed up the cooling process by refrigerating, but let the pasta soak in the oil at room temperature for at least 5 minutes first.

When the orzo is cool, add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

 

Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side dish

One thought on “Orzo Salad with Basil, Feta, and Dried Cherries

  1. Yum!!! These dishes are amazing. I particularly like the Orzo dish. Can’t wait to try it. Your personal herb garden is beautiful:)

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