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Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

October 24, 2012

The weather is supposed to be a gorgeous 74 degrees tomorrow, so here’s a healthy side dish recipe perfect for Indian summer! This pasta salad from Gourmet Today is super fast and easy to make; it only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish if you make sure to start the water boiling for the pasta first. The vinegar, lemon zest, and feta cheese have a tangy flavor that offsets the starch of the orzo and the sweetness of the tomatoes, and the parsley rounds out the flavor and color. I used both yellow grape tomatoes and red cherry tomatoes since that’s what I had on hand. Great to take to an end-of-summer picnic since it should be served at room temperature (or even slightly warm).

Orzo with cherry tomatoes and feta

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2  garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • 3  tablespoons olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1  teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  pound (about 2½ cups) orzo
  • 1/2  cup pine nuts
  • 1  pound cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2  cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2  pound feta cheese, crumbled (about 2 cups)

Directions

  1. Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt, using side of a large heavy knife. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, zest, ¾ teaspoon salt, and pepper.
  2. Cook orzo in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt) until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Drain orzo well, transfer to a bowl, and add vinaigrette, tossing to coat. Stir in nuts, tomatoes, parsley, and feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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