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Orzo Salad

Orzo Salad

Servings 8 cups


For dressing:

  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For salad:

  • 1 large red bell pepper diced
  • 1 1/2 cups English cucumber pulp scooped out and discarded, diced
  • 3/4 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 15.5 ounces garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives halved
  • 1 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound dried orzo
  • 6 ounces Greek feta crumbled


  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  • Combine the red bell pepper, cucumber, onion, chickpeas, olives, walnuts, mint, and parsley in a large mixing bowl.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in 3 tablespoons of salt and a small splash of olive oil. Add the orzo and cook for 7 to 9 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Drain the orzo in a colander, then add it to the vegetable mixture while the orzo is still hot. Immediately pour the dressing onto the orzo and vegetables, and stir to combine. The hot orzo will readily absorb the dressing.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash more olive oil if the salad seems too dry. Allow the salad to cool to room temperature, and then add the feta. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. You can also make this the day before.