Lemon-Dill Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumbers, Olives, and Feta

By • July 30, 2013 • 7 Comments

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Author Notes: Pair this pasta salad with a simple piece of grilled salmon for an easy and satisfying dinner, or pack it up and share at a picnic!Sarah | strawberryplum

Food52 Review: The flavors in this Lemon-Dill Orzo Pasta Salad are mild and subtle -- perfect for complementing grilled salmon or a roasted chicken with pan juices. At first, the grated shallot and Dijon in the vinaigrette may seem like they would overwhelm the dish, but both settle in without a hint of bite. The use of feta and olives also brings a bit of salty flavor with each taste. viblanco

Serves 8

  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 medium shallot, grated
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 medium cucumbers, mostly peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and sliced
  • 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Cook the orzo in abundantly salted water according to package instructions or to your taste. Drain and transfer to a large salad bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, make lemon-dill vinaigrette to dress the salad: combine lemon zest and juice, mustard, and grated shallot in a medium bowl. Whisk everything together with a few pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Slowly add the olive oil while whisking, then stir in the chopped dill. Taste and adjust as needed.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the still-warm pasta and toss. Allow to cool to room temperature, then add the olives and cucumbers. Scatter the crumbled feta cheese over the top and serve.
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3 months ago Bertha Legge

How much is a pound of orzo? How many cups?

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3 months ago Janene

Made this for 4th of July and it was great. I only used 3oz of feta because it's such a strong flavor I didn't want it to overpower the dish. Also next time I will 1.5 the dressing.

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3 months ago Tamara

I've been eyeing this salad up for the longest time and finally got round to making it today and fortunately it didn't disappoint. It was the perfect light summer lunch - will definitely be making it again.

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4 months ago LauriL

Made this for guests the other night. Fortunately they had to cancel and there was enough for the rest of us to eat it for a couple of days!!! Fabulous! I made the cucumbers more of a chop as I only had one English on hand and it was nice. Definitely making this many more times this summer! Thank you Sarah!!!

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5 months ago Leslie Bacon

the orzo is photo 2 does not look cooked.... or maybe it isn't actually orzo. Orzo expands when cooked, wider, more flat then in the picture --- it absorbs flavours well. It looks like barley (which is the meaning of "orzo"), not rice, when cooked

Barbara_davilman

6 months ago DAVILCHICK

Made this last night for a small dinner party and it almost upstaged the yummy grilled lamb. I think this is going to be our new summer salad. So easy. So yummy. I will say that I think my shallots were probably a little larger than the recipe called for so I had to keep playing with it so make sure your shallots are on the smaller side of medium. Otherwise, perfectperfectperfect!

Stringio

about 1 year ago Jason Grzegorek

This was a great salad; however, it needed more dressing. I would suggest for that much pasta to double the dressing. If not doubling the dressing, serve the salad warm so that the cheese melts and becomes a newer dressing.