Easy Orzo Salad

This Easy Orzo Salad is light, fresh, and filled with veggies, chickpeas, and fresh herbs. It will quickly become a go-to pasta salad in your house! I love making and taking pasta salads to potlucks, barbecues, and get togethers. They are the perfect s…

This Easy Orzo Salad is light, fresh, and filled with veggies, chickpeas, and fresh herbs. It will quickly become a go-to pasta salad in your house! I love making and taking pasta salads to potlucks, barbecues, and get togethers. They are the perfect side dish for sharing. This Easy Orzo Pasta Salad is a summertime…

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Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette.

This grilled vegetable orzo will be your new summer BFF. It’s loaded with flavor. Everyone loves it. It should be dinner tonight! Okay, but seriously? This orzo has been on repeat for weeks now. IT IS SO GOOD. First, let’s talk about how versatile it is. You can basically throw whatever veggies you have and […]

The post Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

This grilled vegetable orzo will be your new summer BFF.

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

It’s loaded with flavor. Everyone loves it. It should be dinner tonight!

vegetables ready for the grill

Okay, but seriously? This orzo has been on repeat for weeks now. IT IS SO GOOD.

mushrooms with olive oil

First, let’s talk about how versatile it is. You can basically throw whatever veggies you have and love on the grill. There is no right or wrong here, as long as it’s vegetables you like. It’s a great way to do a clean-out-the-fridge meal and use up everything that’s about to spoil. 

orzo

The veggies that I always do for flavor purposes alone: mushrooms, bell peppers and broccoli.

Those are my faves!

However, as you can see in the photos, I add in many many more vegetables too. Cauliflower, zucchini and scallions here. I also like to throw in asparagus and/or green beans.

Everything ends up tasting incredible thanks to the charred, smoky flavor from the grill, but I also add a dash of balsamic vinegar to make the flavor pop.

grilled vegetables

When it comes to grilling, the way you grill the vegetables may vary. I love using this grilling basket and this grilling pan for almost all the vegetables. But if you have mushrooms that are thinly sliced, then I suggest grilling them in foil. They will get very crisp and this is where you can add that balsamic flavor. 

Of course, if you don’t have a grill, this works just as well with roasted vegetables too. Winning all around right here!

smashed feta vinaigrette

Now this vinaigrette. Oh my gosh. This might be my favorite dressing of the summer. I’m calling it now. My new signature!

You make a classic vinaigrette with red wine vinegar, some herbs, salt, pepper and garlic, them smash feta into that mixture while bring it together. Add your olive oil and boom! It’s perfect.

orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

This reminds me a lot of a blue cheese vinaigrette I’ve been perfecting for a long time. The recipe will be in my next book! There’s just something about these soft cheeses that marinate in the dressing. Fantastic. 

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

More great news:

You can make this ahead of time. Yes! The entire thing. Even this past weekend I made it almost a full 24 hours ahead of time and served it as a cold pasta salad. The flavors become more pronounced and everything marries together even more.

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

So yes, that means you can serve this warm or cold. It’s totally your choice.

What I’ve been doing? If I want to make it for dinner, then we tend to eat it warm. I grilled the vegetables while making the orzo then toss it all together and serve. If you want to make it for a gathering with family or friends, I suggest taking it at room temp (so making it right before you leave) or serving it cold. All the ways are delicious. 

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

If you do go the dinner route, you can serve this alone, serve it as the main dish with a greens salad or serve it as a side with some grilled chicken or salmon. Of course, you can also add chicken or beans or whatever else you’d like right into the salad. 

What I’m really saying is take this and make it your own. You’ll have wonderful leftovers. And double the dressing because you will freak over it! 

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette

Print

Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette

This grilled vegetable orzo is the perfect dish to serve warm or cold! Tossed with feta vinaigrette, the flavor is incredible!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 medium zucchini squash, cut into rounds or spears
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • balsamic vinegar for drizzling
  • salt, pepper and garlic powder for sprinkling
  • crumbled feta for serving
  • fresh herbs, like dill and chives, for serving

smashed feta vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • salt and pepper
  • cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Note: there is no wrong way to do the vegetables here! Cut them as you wish (at least large enough so they don’t fall through grates/grill pan), use the vegetables you wish - whatever you love most!
  • Preheat the grill to high. Make the dressing first and set it aside.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo according to the package directions - usually around 8 minutes for al dente. If the orzo is finished before everything else is, toss with a spoonful of olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Grill the vegetables while the water boils and orzo cooks.
  • I find that I need 2 grill baskets/trays here to do all the vegetables. You can of course put vegetables right on the grill too - especially things like large pieces of bell peppers, asparagus, zucchini rounds or spears, etc. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If desired, you can also toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
  • If the mushrooms are sliced, I put them on a sheet of foil. (if they are whole, you can place them directly on the grill or grill plate.) Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. You can add cracked black pepper and garlic powder too. Wait to salt until the mushrooms cook.
  • Place the vegetables on the grill. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes total, tossing and turning some of the vegetables every few minutes. The length of time will depend on how small you cut your vegetables, so keep an eye on them. I check every 5 minutes or so.
  • Once the vegetables are done, toss them in a large bowl with the orzo. Pout the feta vinaigrette on top and toss. You can add in extra feta, fresh dill or chives if you wish. Either serve immediately, or store in the fridge until you serve. You can make this 24 hours ahead of time. Leftovers are great!

smashed feta vinaigrette

  • In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, herbs and feta. Use a spoon or whisk to smash some of the feta into the mixture. Whisk the olive oil into the dressing until combined. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge. It will separate but whisking or shaking will bring it back together.

grilled vegetable orzo with smashed feta vinaigrette

Holy.flavor.

The post Grilled Vegetable Orzo with Smashed Feta Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon.

It’s here!! This crispy orzo pot, a flavor explosion, is fiiiinally here. Crispy orzo with artichokes and creamy goat cheese and zesty lemon and crunchy prosciutto. Doesn’t that sound like the best party in your mouth? Come watch me make it on instagram today! Gosh I just love anything with artichokes. Okay so I promise […]

The post Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

It’s here!! This crispy orzo pot, a flavor explosion, is fiiiinally here.

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

Crispy orzo with artichokes and creamy goat cheese and zesty lemon and crunchy prosciutto. Doesn’t that sound like the best party in your mouth?

Come watch me make it on instagram today!

crispy orzo

Gosh I just love anything with artichokes.

Okay so I promise I’m not turning into a pasta blog. This is another dish that I made waaaay before our quarantine, but it works out well if you have a few pantry ingredients! You can sub rice or even couscous for the orzo, so there’s that.

I’m such a seasonal cook so coming up with meals that can be made with ingredients in our pantry right now has been HARD. I want to cook all the fresh asparagus and spring produce and prepare delicious Easter dishes!

Luckily, this one fits the quarantine bill. You may need to skip an ingredient or two if you don’t have it, but that’s totally okay!

crispy prosciutto

So let’s do it. 

You have to cook the orzo first (and you can totally do this ahead of time) but once it’s cooked? It comes together quickly!

The other thing you want to do is crisp up some prosciutto. This is my FAVORITE part. One of my favorite salads ever is a simple greens salad with tons of lemon, parmesan and crispy prosciutto.

Besides being delicious, obviously, one of the main reasons I love this prosciutto is because once it’s crisped up (pan fried like bacon), it becomes so delicately crisp that it literally crumbles at the touch. This means that you can easily crumble it over salads and pastas. It’s much thinner than bacon or pancetta, so it truly SHATTERS.

Yes, shattered prosciutto pasta. We should make that a thing!

artichoke

And the other great thing – because the prosciutto is so thin, it doesn’t get soft and gross in the fridge. Meaning leftovers of this are INCREDIBLE. Super good with possibly even more flavor? 

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

ANYWAY.

After the cooking of the orzo and the crumbling of the prosciutto, it comes together.

The most important part is to crisp up the orzo! Considering this is a crispy orzo dish, that part is important. Take a big old pan or skillet, add some olive oil and toss in the cooked orzo. Almost as if you’re making fried rice. You want to alternate between stirring occasionally and flattening the orzo against the pan, allowing it to cook a few minutes before tossing. 

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

There will be bits of crispy orzo, some chunks will stick together and some pieces will remain soft, which makes this a texture lover’s dream. 

Like me! That’s me. Give me alllll the texture. 

You’re going to add canned/jarred artichoke hearts, a bunch of fresh lemon zest, goat cheese (or feta, or parm, or whatever you have on hand), and a few mint leaves. Spring in a dish, if I do say so myself.

Oh and don’t be freaked by the mint! It adds this refreshing bite that works so well. If you don’t have it right now, any other herb that you enjoy will work.

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

I know that Easter celebrations with friends and family are up in the air for most of us. Either way, this would make a fantastic side dish. But in the meantime, it makes an incredible dinner for you, tonight!

And let’s be real – the crispy orzo can be the base for just about ANY flavor. Whatever you have in your pantry or fridge, add it in. 

Make.it.your.own.

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon

Print

Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 as a meal, 4 as a side dish
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked orzo
  • 4 ounces prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 12 ounce jars artichoke hearts, drained (and chopped if you wish)
  • 1 lemon, zest grated and juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • fresh mint or herbs for garnish

Instructions

  • If you haven’t cooked the orzo yet, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook 1 ½ cups according to the package directions. This is usually to boil for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until crisp and golden, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the prosciutto and place it on a paper towel to cool. Prosciutto does not render as much fat as bacon, so you will most likely need olive oil here. If you use bacon instead, there may be enough fat in the skillet to cook the orzo. Ideally you want about 2 tablespoons.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. Add in the shallots and the garlic with a pinch of salt and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add in the orzo and toss well. Press the orzo into an even layer in the pan so it covers the entire bottom. Let it cook and crispy for a few minutes, then toss and repeat the process, pressing it into the bottom of the pan to cook. You want to do this a few times over, until the orzo is a bit crisp and golden in color.
  • Once the orzo is finished, add in the artichoke hearts. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
  • Crumble the goat cheese into the orzo and toss. Stir in the fresh mint. Crumble the prosciutto on top and serve immediately.

This crispy orzo is a wonderful spring dish. Artichoke hearts, lemon, goat cheese and herbs all topped with a sprinkling of crunchy prosciutto.

Crunch crunch crunch.

The post Crispy Orzo with Artichokes and Lemon. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.