As much as I love cheese, grating it is one of my least favorite things to do. I put it up there with laundry, word problems, and going to the dentist. If I were filthy rich, I would hire someone whose only job was to attend to my every cheese-grating need. No joke. If I had so much money that I could spend it on something as frivolous, a personal cheese-grater would be at the top of my list. That’s why I like feta.
Especially pre-crumbled feta. And feta is the reason that I love Mediterranean cuisine so much. In my opinion, this crumbly, creamy cheese is really what makes Mediterranean dishes so delicious. This Mediterranean Orzo Salad is one of my favorite weeknight side dishes. It is so easy to throw together, and it’s even better for lunch the next day. The tiny orzo pasta in this salad makes it a bit more substantial, but it also allows the rest of the ingredients to shine through.
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup orzo
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- Whisk together the vinegar, oregano, and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente.
- Meanwhile, combine the chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, olives, feta cheese, and red onion in a medium bowl. Drain the orzo and add to the bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.