greek-ish orzo salad

I'm always a big fan of trying to do things myself once or twice - or at least attempting it. For this reason, I have a pile of clothes in my closet that I refuse to throw out / donate because I'm moderately convinced I can hem / alter them myself.

I can nearly guarantee that I will fail at that - but I'm going to try none the less.

When it comes to food, I've attempted things like focaccia, english muffins, donut muffins, and butter for the same reason. In recent history, I've taken quite a liking to the Whole Foods Spinach Orzo Salad in the prepared foods section. Nearly without fail, I pick it up anytime I'm at a WF ... and that is between one to two times a week. That equals $6 for a pile of small noodles and some olives. And a few other ingredients.

So yesterday when I stopped at Whole Foods on my way back from Maine, I picked up a container of my favorite treat ... and the ingredients to make it myself with a few modifications of course. I had a pretty clear idea of what I needed to do for my replica salad but a quick google led me to a recipe confirming my suspicions. I was pretty pumped to utilize some basil from my fire escape and a pepper from my dad's garden.

My modifications:

  • In my terrible traffic haze, I never grabbed feta ... but grabbed parmesan and goat cheese.
  • I added in a lemon-y vinaigrette to switch things up a bit.
For some reason, I completely blacked out and felt like I should cook the whole box of orzo. I obviously really liked the salad and felt confident - but it was a terrible idea. I'm literally drowning in pasta salad. I'll be eating this for like the next 8 meals - which is actually just what the box said so I should not be surprised. Dummy.

Here's how it goes. Easy as pie (or I guess galette too).
(Step 1) Cook orzo as directed. After it's done, drain and rinse in cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pasta and mix to prevent it from sticking all together. Set aside.
(Step 2) While the orzo is cooking... or after... whatever... prep the rest of the salad stuffings. Cut the pepper, onion, spinach, bail, and olives.

(Step 3) Combine the mixings and the orzo.
(Step 4) In a small bowl, we need to mix our "dressing". Combine the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, and vinegar. Taste? Like it? Add salt and pepper if you want.
(Step 5) Mix it all together. Add the feta and then s&p to taste.

(Step 6) Serve with dabs of goat cheese if you want. I want. So I did.

Shopping List
1 box of Orzo pasta
2 T olive oil
1 green pepper, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 cup spinach, chopped
4ish basil leaves, chopped
3/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 T champagne vinegar
3 T lemon juice
lemon zest from one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and peper to taste
1/4 cup parmesan
goat cheese as desired

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