Ever since Donna made her Mediterranean Orzo Salad last summer, I have been waiting for the chance to make another version of orzo salad. I just love the way the orzo looks in a salad and it's small size makes it easy to get all of the ingredients distributed nicely. Plus for some reason, it just seems to fit these Greek flavors. Who knows why? It just made sense to me at the time! So much so that I ran to the store just to get a box of orzo. None of the shapes of pasta in the pantry seemed like they would do.
Instead of grating the cucumber, like you would for the sauce, I left them in slices so there would be some nice texture in the salad. I also used regular plain yogurt rather than Greek yogurt. Since I was using it as a dressing instead of a sauce, the extra moisture worked to my advantage. Of course the plain yogurt is cheaper than the strained too! Other than that, the recipe is what you would expect in a tzatziki sauce. It is bright, fresh and worked as a great side dish for the Lemon and Yogurt Marinated Chicken.
Tzatziki Style Orzo Salad
1 16 oz package orzo
2 cups plain lowfat yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T lemon juice
2 T fresh dill
salt and pepper
- Cook orzo to al dente according to package directions. Drain and then set aside to cool.
- Quickly peel the cucumbers, they don't have to be perfect. Then halve them longways and scoop out most of the seeds. Slice them in about 1/4" slices.
- In a large bowl, mix together yogurt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, dill and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Stir the orzo and cucumbers into the dressing. Adjust your salt and pepper to your liking.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.