Orzo with Feta and Cherry Tomatoes

This past month is a blur. The life adjustment, the pace of getting out the door in the morning, the lack of spare time — it’s like a race. Still, I’m trying my best to make time for a few simple splurges. Long showers. Morning runs. Good food.

The past few Sundays I’ve made batch recipes that Jeff and I could eat for lunch during the week. When you’re in the news business like we are, eating out doesn’t happen often (too many deadlines), and cafeteria food in our building doesn’t always cut it. This orzo salad with cherry tomatoes and feta definitely did.

I admit that finding the time to cook while working full-time with a baby is hard. I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to food. Seasonal ingredients are a must.  Processed food — very rarely. I dig my heels in when it comes to these things. That means almost everything we eat is fresh and homemade, and making it can be time consuming.

This orzo salad is a quickie, about 30 minutes from start to finish. And it’s amazing.  The tomatoes, feta, lemon zest, parsley, need I say more? It’s tangy, salty, bursting with flavor. The pine nuts give it a nice crunch. It’s almost as addictive as the kale and bulgur from a few weeks ago.

Orzo with Feta and Cherry Tomatoes
Gourmet Today

2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) orzo
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 pound cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 pound feta, preferably Greek, crumbled (about 2 cups)

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt, using side o a large heavy knife. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, zest, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper.

Cook orzo in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt) until al dente.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to cool.

Drain orzo well, transfer to a bowl, and add vinaigrette, tossing to coat. Stir in nuts, tomatoes, parsley and feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8.


3 Responses to “Orzo with Feta and Cherry Tomatoes”

  1. 1 Julia
    August 2, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Okay, Elisa, you’ve got me. I’ll try this one. OUr cherry tomatoes aren’t ripe yet, but soon, I hope! Is the parseley a must? I tend to leave it out of a lot of recipes, I find the taste overwhelming.

  2. August 3, 2010 at 10:27 am

    If you’re not crazy about parsley, leave it out. Or, you could get a few sprigs at a farmers market without having to buy a gigantic bunch and add just a little. I love parsley, so of course I love it here. Let me know how you like the orzo!

  3. 3 Kim Stone
    August 12, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Loved this recipe Elisa! I cooked some shrimp in olive oil and lemon juice and added it to the orzo. I think it complimented the recipe well. Todd really liked this one.

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