Summer Go-to – Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Summer is almost upon us! Among the many things that means for me (flip flops, happy hours on the patio, sundresses, laying by the pool – the list could go on and on), it also means my homemade Mediterranean Orzo Salad makes several appearances!

In my opinion it is the perfect summer dish to bring to a BBQ, a happy hour, or a dinner. It is delicious, nutritious, and very colorful. One batch of the salad makes plenty, which is great to portion out for lunches or dinners several days after. I was very, very, fortunate to have learned the recipe from a friend of a friend about five years ago at a 4th of July BBQ and happily pass on the recipe to those that want it.

One of my co-workers invited Tommy and I to her house for dinner this past weekend and I gladly offered to bring this salad!



  • large pot with a lid
  • fine mesh strainer
  • large mixing bowl
  • small bowl


  • 16 ounces (~455 g) orzo or other small pasta
  • 1/4 cup (~60 mil) olive oil
  • 1/3 cup (~80 mil) plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup (~60 mil) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 pints (~680 g) grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup drained capers (optional)
  • 1 container of crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (~20 g) lightly packed chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of sea salt


1. Bring about 3 quarts of water to boil in the large pot. Add salt and the orzo and cook until al dente. Drain well in the mesh strainer, then pour hot orzo into the mixing bowl.

2. While the orzo cooks, stir together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the small bowl. Pour the mixture over the hot orzo and toss. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

3. Add the grape tomatoes, onion, cucumber, bell pepper, capers, and parsley, and stir well. Season with fresh ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Add the Feta cheese. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.



Do you have a go-to summer dish you bring to parties, BBQs, or just make “just because”?


1 Comment

Filed under Life in DC

One response to “Summer Go-to – Mediterranean Orzo Salad

  1. Pingback: Tuesday Tidbits – 32 | Bee in DC

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