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Greek orzo salad is a wonderfully light and fresh summer dish that works well as a side dish or as a meal.  You can pair this with chicken shawarma, grilled chicken or beef kabobs, or even a simple turkey sandwich.  Because this salad is chilled, its perfect for those hot days when you need something cool and refreshing.

You can use regular cucumber if your grocery store doesn’t carry English cucumber.  However, I always make it a point to use English cucumber for this dish because: 1) the skin isn’t waxy, which saves time on peeling, 2) the seeds are small and not watery, which allows you to just chop away without worrying about deseeding.  If you opt for regular cucumbers instead, you’ll want to use two, and be sure to peel and deseed them.  The English cucumbers are much larger, so one is sufficient for this salad.

Side note: The tomatoes in this dish will start to “leak” water over time and get mushy, which prevents this dish from lasting more than several days.  But trust me, it probably won’t last that long…that’s how good it is!

Greek Orzo Salad

1 box uncooked orzo pasta
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, chopped
4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 English cucumber, chopped
1  4 oz can sliced black olives, drained
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
 

Dressing:

6 T. olive oil
5 T. red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 t. dried oregano
Ground black pepper to taste
 

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  When water is boiling, add the orzo pasta and cook about 8-10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.  Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the chopped artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cucumber, olives and parsley in a large bowl.  Mix well.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, black pepper, and oregano. Set aside.

When the pasta is cooked and drained, add to the artichoke heart mixture.  Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables, toss well.  Cover the bowl and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.  Enjoy!

Makes 10-12 servings.

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