There’s nothing more refreshing than the Greek village salad: crisp cucumbers, tasty tomatoes, colorful peppers, chopped onions, and Kalamata olives, all drizzled with olive oil, then topped with oregano and feta cheese. With the same ingredients (and any add-ons you desire), you can make that same salad a little more filling by adding orzo (manestra) to the mix. The Greek orzo salad becomes a memorable and flavorful meal.
It’s easy to make. Just chop the vegetables smaller than you would for a regular Greek village salad, boil the orzo, then season, dress and toss. And go colorful with the vegetables because this dish can look like an artistic masterpiece with the right combinations. For example, I add cherry and golden tomatoes along with red, yellow, and orange mini peppers to create extra pops of color that are not only appealing to the eye, but the palette as well. Play around with what you like and make a Greek orzo salad masterpiece of your own. Just be sure to make plenty of it, because trust me—it will disappear quickly.
- 1 cup orzo (In Greek, kritharaki or manestra)
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 cup cherry and golden tomatoes, halved
- ¼ red onion, diced
- ½ cup assorted mini peppers
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 8 fresh basil leaves, lightly chopped
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- teaspoon garlic powder
- In a large pot, cook orzo according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water and drain the orzo. Place orzo in a large bowl.
- Add all vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil and mix in evenly with the orzo.
- Make the dressing by combining olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl and whisk together.
- Pour dressing over the orzo and mix well. Adjust for seasoning, adding more oregano or Greek seasoning if needed.
- Refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.