This pasta is ideal for a potluck or picnic. It will feed a large group and can sit out a bit at the buffet table. But that’s not the only reason to make this Greek orzo salad. It is easy to make and packs well for light, yet filling work day lunches. It also makes a wonderful summer evening supper to be enjoyed outdoors, perhaps, with some crusty bread and a glass of wine. Like many pasta salads, this one tastes better the next day, when all of the flavors have had a change to meld.
There are many versions of Greek pasta salad on the internet, but the mustard-dill vinaigrette in this one definitely caught my eye. I associate cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese with Greek cooking but not dill. Not immediately, anyway, until I was reminded that dill is used in tzatziki, the Greek cucumber-yogurt dip, and it is the secret ingredient in a friend’s spanakopita (Ssssh! Don’t tell).
The mustard-dill vinaigrette is a standout and very versatile; it is also delicious on grilled salmon or chicken.
Greek Orzo and Grilled Shrimp Salad with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette
Yields 4 to 6 servings
12 ounces orzo, cooked al dente
1 large cucumber, seeded and small-diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
1/2 to 1 clove garlic, or to taste
1/4 cup white wine or champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
For the grilled shrimp
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
16 medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine the cooked orzo, cucumber, green onions, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl.
Place dill, garlic, vinegar, and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and mix until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the orzo mixture and stir with a large spoon to combine. Gently fold in the feta cheese. For better flavor, chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving, or, preferably overnight.
Heat grill to high. In a small bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons olive oil, minced garlic clove, and parsley. Brush shrimp with olive oil/garlic mixture and season with salt and pepper. Grill for approximately 2 minutes per side or until just cooked through.
Grilled shrimp may be combined with pasta and chilled or cooked right before serving.
Adapted from Bobby Flay.
- Lime-Cilantro Pasta Salad (daisysworld.net)
- Pasta Salad (daisysworld.net)
- Orecchiette with Mushrooms, Chard, and Ricotta Pan Sauce (daisysworld.net)
© Daisy’s World. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Daisy’s World with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.