For Jess and me, summer is a time where we crave lighter foods, like fish, and foods served cold — like salad. Green salads are wonderful, but we get bored with them, and when we do, we turn to the pasta salad as our next favorite thing to eat. Normally, I use those multi-colored corkscrew noodles (fusilli), but the rice-shaped pasta known as orzo also makes a fine-tasting salad. Orzo cooks up just like any other pasta, but its small size means you definitely need to keep an eye on it — anything beyond al dente with this stuff means a sloppy, soggy mess.
We paired our salad tonight with some sockeye salmon, which is my favorite kind of salmon. Be aware that sockeye filets are sold with the the pin bones still in, so have a pair of needle nose pliers handy to make short work of those bones and get to cooking.
- 8 oz. uncooked orzo. Cook according to package instructions (or until it’s as tender as you want), rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- 1 cup black olives, sliced.
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced.
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped.
- 6 oz. feta cheese (sheep’s milk if you can find it).
- Salt, pepper, and dried oregano to taste.
It’s almost too simple for words: mix your chopped ingredients with the orzo. Add salt, pepper, and oregano to taste. You can hit this salad with a glug of sharp olive oil, splash of lemon juice, or any other herbs that you like. The neutral flavor of the orzo picks up the briny flavor of the rest of the ingredients nicely, creating a balanced dish that looks nice on the plate and tastes even better. Happy cooking!