When your friends have a party, be it in a backyard barbecue, a cookout on a rooftop patio or a picnic in a park, it’s entirely likely that they’re going to take care of the grilling. You won’t need to worry about marinating chicken or cooking the kabobs to perfection, but what is more likely is that they’ll ask you to bring a side dish.
Even though most grocery stores have an abundance of prepared salads, dips, fruit and vegetable platters and desserts, you’ll be the star of the party if you show up with a homemade salad or snack bound to impress.
I like using orzo in pasta salads because it cooks in about five minutes flat and unlike other pasta salads that use thicker, heavier noodles, really lets the ingredients shine.
Greek-style salads with ingredients like olives and feta are bursting with flavor and relatively free of any heavy ingredients prone to spoilage like cream, or mayonnaise, so they’ll last longer grill-side than a dairy-based salad.
- 1½ cups uncooked orzo pasta
- 2 (6 ounce) cans marinated artichoke hearts
- 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 (2 ounce) can black olives, drained
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until al dente; drain. Drain artichoke hearts.
- In large bowl combine pasta, artichoke hearts, tomato, cucumber, onion, feta, olives, lemon juice, oregano and lemon pepper. Toss and chill for 1 hour in refrigerator.
- Just before serving, garnish with fresh chopped parsley.