Quick and easy to make this Orzo Pasta Salad is a summer favourite. This tasty pasta salad combines creamy feta, juicy cherry tomatoes and salty kalamata olives with orzo and a very quick lemon, pesto dressing.
3tablespoontoasted pine nuts+ more for serving (optional)
1small red onion (80g or ¾ US firmly packed cup)finely chopped
12kalamata olivespitted and sliced
100gfeta (1 US cup)cut into small cubes
150gcherry tomatoes (5.5oz or 1 US cup)cut into quarters
The juice of halfa lemon
2 ½heaped tbspvegetarian green pesto
Black pepper and sea salt to season
Asmall handful offresh basilchopped
Cook 180g or 1 US cup of orzo according to the packet. Once cooked, drain in a colander then rinse under the cold tap. Stir in half a tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil and leave the pasta to cool fully.Transfer to a large bowl or serving dish.
Add 2 tablespoons of pesto to a small bowl, pour in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the juice of half a large lemon, stir well.
Once the pasta has cooled add the chopped onion, cherry tomatoes, feta and the kalamata olives to the pasta.Pour the pesto dressing into the bowl then add the basil and pine nuts and toss carefully.
Season with cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste. The serve immediately.
Orzo - You should find this is the pasta aisle in all large supermarkets if you can't then any small pasta will work here, conchiglie or Anelli would be fine.
Cherry Tomatoes - When not in season swap them for about 6 or 7 sundried tomatoes from the deli. Cut them into thin strips then add them with the rest of the ingredients.
Feta - For best results, look for authentic Greek feta, also check that it is labeled vegetarian.
Pesto - I use a vegetarian green pesto, traditional pesto is not vegetarian as it contains parmesan which is made using animal rennet. Check your label.
Making ahead - This can be made a day ahead, just store it in the fridge in an airtight container. I recommend not adding the basil or the tomatoes until you are ready to serve.
Nutritional Information - is approximate and is calculated using an online nutrition tool.
Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, these are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible.