Culinary Quest #3 – Lemon Orzo Salad

Dean & Deluca is one of my all-time favorite eateries.  They have incredible food – good food that’s good for you.  I love to treat my family, friends and myself there, however, I don’t always have the time nor the budget that comes with shopping and eating at this upscale joint (as much as I wish I could!). So, in order to enjoy the same great tastes at home, I began creating my own version of their dishes.

Once I nailed the lemon vinaigrette, I found it is a wonderful base for many dishes.  Sometimes we want a savory dressing without too many herbs because they can easily overpower the salad ingredients. This vinaigrette is light and flavorful, not too strong, and with just the right amount of zest.

Today we’re serving up…

Lemon Orzo Salad

(Serves 8)

16oz        orzo pasta – cooked al dente in salted water; drained

½             red pepper; finely diced

½c           medium red onion; finely diced

1c            spinach leaves; finely chopped (measured after chopped)

1c            feta cheese; cubed

½ c         Kalamata olives; pitted & finely diced

Lemon vinaigrette (see below)


Toss the orzo with the vinaigrette so the pasta soaks up the flavor while it cools. (It also avoids the vinaigrette pooling at the bottom of the bowl.)

Once the pasta has cooled to room temperature, toss remaining ingredients and refrigerate until well chilled.

Lemon Vinaigrette

5T rice vinegar

5T fresh squeezed lemon juice

5T canola oil

2T granular sugar

¼t salt

Enjoy it as an entree or side dish.  It’s a great way to beat the summer heat! ~ Kristi

2 thoughts on “Culinary Quest #3 – Lemon Orzo Salad

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