Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese

Orzo pasta…..YUM! It is pasta shaped like a big piece of rice. Rice and pasta my two favorite carbs that I could eat everyday. I don’t, but I so could. My grandpa use to eat rice everyday. Growing up, I thought everything went on rice. Blackeye peas, cabbage and green beans were not sides in my house; they were the “gravy” for our rice. These sides served on rice made up our main dish for dinner. I love pasta just as much and could have put anything on top of it as well.

I love this time of the year…..longer, warmer days. Well for us in the south, it’s just longer hot days, and  I LOVE every drip of sweat of it. There is no bundling in layers of clothes and looking for a hot meal to warm you from the inside out. It’s grillin’ and chillin’ time. A lot of the dishes that I cook with pasta or rice, I associate with comfort food served on a chilly fall evening or a cold winter’s night.  This orzo pasta salad is a perfect side to serve with your favorite grilled meat. It’s served chilled like a salad and gives me the satifation of having my comfort food carb without having the heaviness of the carb that I get when I top it with a gravy or sauce.

It was not too long ago that I discovered orzo pasta. How brilliant of a pasta is it??? A pasta that resembles a huge piece of rice, and that has a nutty pasta taste. It tricks my brain!!! When eating it, I feel as though I am getting to enjoying both rice and pasta.

This recipe is an adaptation from a recipe an old school mate shared with me. I typed her version in “the notes” in my smartphone, but this dummy obviously did not save it. I took what I could remember and combined it with several ideas I gathered from other pasta recipes.

You need:

1 lbs orzo pasta (cooked)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1/4 cup minced sun dried tomatoes in oil (I add more. I love these!)

2 large garlic cloves minced

1/3 cup chopped dill or dried dill (I use dry dill and sprinkle it to taste)

1 half of a seedless cucumber peeled and chopped

1 pint grape tomatoes halved (I use about half of the pint)

8 oz feta cheese crumbled

Cook pasta according to direction on package. Add oil, vinegar, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and dill to pasta and mix well. Add cucumber, grape tomatoes and feta and stir gently. Chill until ready to serve.

I use less grape tomatoes and more of the sun dried tomatoes because I really enjoy the sun dried ones.

I hope you enjoy this pasta salad. It really is a nice refreshing dish that is a great alternative to the pasta salads that are made with the tri-colored pasta and Italian dressing.

Happy Spring!!

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