Orzo Salad with Cherries and Feta
I don’t know how pasta salads became such an integral part of the American BBQ. I suppose it is because it is so easy to transport, hearty enough to stand up to a day of loose refrigeration, and simple to make ahead? Well, that should be good enough for anyone, right?
The challenge becomes coming up with new ideas and flavor combinations to delight everyone!
This Orzo Salad with Cherries and Feta is a unique and seasonal twist on a traditional summer pasta salad. The ripe cherries add beautiful color as well as a sweet flavor to balance the salty feta cheese and crunchy almonds. Oh! Did I mention that it is appropriately gorgeous in shades of red and white for this weekends parties? Try it!
Orzo salad with Cherries and Feta, Serves 8
-1lb orzo pasta
-2 cups cherries
-1/2lb feta cheese
-½ cup curly parsley minced
-3 Tbs shallot, minced
-3 Tbs Olive Oil
-3 Tbs Red wine vinegar
-1/8 cup slivered almonds
-Kosher salt to taste
1) Pit the cherries into a bowl and let them sit in the bowl while you make the pasta. (Some of their juice will drain into the bowl.)
2) Cook the pasta to al dente according to manufacturers direction, then drain and rinse with cold water. Pour the pasta to a large bowl.
3) Slice the pitted cherries into thin rounds, set aside in a different bowl.
4) Using the first bowl with the cherry juice- add the shallots to the juice.
5) Then add a sprinkle of salt, the oil and the vinegar. Mix around to create a dressing.
6) Add the dressing and the shallots, along with about ¼ cup of the minced parsley to the pasta.
7) Mix the pasta to coat.
8) Add the cherries and stir to mix.
9) Crumble the feta cheese over the pasta and gently stir in.
10) Add the almonds and the rest of the curly parsley and gently combine.
11) Serve the pasta at room temperature or chilled.