This Orzo Pasta Salad with Feta and Sun Dried Tomatoes makes a wonderful side dish, light meal, pot luck or picnic.
It’s officially summer at our house. School ended today. Whew! And it was a whirlwind of a weekend, too. A welcome home party for an American soldier, my boys’ cub scout graduation pot luck… summer fun and summer foods have started off with a bang!
My husband is cub master for our boys’ pack, and he takes his job very seriously. He acts like a clown to get the kids to laugh, tells dumb jokes and dances about to keep the boys interested and engaged. It’s not an easy job, especially for a guy who is a perfectionist.
Sunday’s graduation and bridging over was held at a beautiful park, surrounded by oak trees, rocks and streams full of tadpoles. My husband borrowed another pack’s Cub-O-Matic to churn out freshly advanced Wolves, Bears and Webelos to the eager parents watching and gazing through their cameras.
It was silly, the kids were tossed through “the machine” like popcorn. Some kids took their acting skills to a new level and came out dramatically from the Cub-O-Matic. All in all, there were many smiling faces and of course, proud parents.
Every year for graduation, our pack holds a barbecue. They supply the burgers and dogs, while the families bring in the drinks, ice, condiments, salads, side dishes, chips, cookies and treats. I am always amazed by the generosity of 20-some-odd families that make up our pack.
My youngest son’s den was assigned to bring a side dish so I made this Orzo Pasta Salad with Feta and Sun Dried Tomatoes. I adapted it from a dish my neighbor made for our first book club meeting. Hers used Israeli couscous, which are small balls of pasta.
After not finding it at two stores, I chose to use orzo. Karen is having fun on her summer vacation, but she was sweet enough to quickly text me the ingredients to this dish while she was herding her three kids onto the airplane. Now that’s friendship!
It’s easy an easy pasta salad to throw together, full of flavor and lots of my favorite goodies: sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, creamy feta, fresh spinach, mint, oregano, olive oil and lemon juice. The bowl was emptied clean at the picnic. I’m glad I was able to sneak a bite in for myself!
How can you tell you have a happy cub scout? By the amount of dirt that has accumulated on his uniform. And boy, did we have a lot of dirty scouts that day!
- 2 qt water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lb orzo pasta
- 1/2 lb kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 12 oz sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, drained and chopped
- 1 cup thinly sliced spinach
- 3 TBS thinly sliced fresh basil
- 3 TBS thinly sliced fresh mint
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 3 TBS lemon juice
- 1/3 lb crumbled feta cheese
- In a heavy saucepan bring water and salt to boil.
- Add orzo to the boiling water and cook per package directions.
- While the orzo is cooking, mix olives, onions, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, basil and mint in a large serving bowl
- When pasta is cooked, drain well in a colander and transfer to serving bowl. Mix well.
- Add remaining ingredients and toss gently and serve cold or at room temperature.
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Serving Size:1 bowl
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 517 Total Fat: 26.3g Saturated Fat: 6.7g Cholesterol: 78mg Sodium: 982mg Carbohydrates: 59.6g Fiber: 5.1g Sugar: 1.6g Protein: 15.8g