A tasty little salad perfect for a crowd. Loaded with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and arugula, it’s more salad than pasta, so no guilt needed! Zesty lemon gives a beautiful lightness to the salad for a perfect springtime side dish.
- 8 ounces orzo pasta
- 2 small Persian cucumbers, diced
- 4–5 small tomatoes, diced (I like the tomatoes on the vine but any tomatoes will do)
- 1/2 small red pepper, finely diced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, diced
- 1/2 cup tender herbs, finely chopped (mint, parsley, dill – any combination)
- 2 handfuls fresh arugula
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3–4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano (1 Tablespoon of fresh)
- Salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions in heavily salted water.
- Drain the pasta in a fine mesh strainer, then run under cold water until no longer hot. Toss with extra virgin olive oil and chill while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Prepare the dressing by combining the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic clove, oregano, salt and pepper in measuring cup. Using a hand blender, buzz the ingredients until smooth. Alternatively, finely chop the garlic and whisk everything but the olive oil together in a small bowl. Once combined, continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil. This will emulsify and prevent the dressing from separating.
- In a large bowl, combine the pasta, cucumbers, tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, Kalamata olives and herbs. Toss to combine.
- Add the arugula with the vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
- Add the feta cheese, lemon zest and black pepper to taste and gently stir together.
- Serve immediately with additional black pepper.
The salad is best made a day ahead and allowed to marinate overnight. If you do make it ahead, be sure to hold back on the arugula and cheese and toss it in right before serving.
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: salad, recipe, spring recipes, summer BBQ, side dish, pasta salad, lemon, olives, vegetables, easy salad recipe, easy side dish, quick lunch