Greek Orzo Salad

Mexican food is one of our favorite things to cook, but I think it is safe to say that a close second would be Greek/Mediterranean food.  One of our favorite side dishes we always include with most Greek/Mediterranean food that we make is this Greek Orzo Salad.  It is delicious! It has  really good flavor and lots of veggies! Why wouldn’t I like it?!  Anyways, we had it as a side dish with our zucchini fritters last night and I thought it was a good opportunity to share this wonderful recipe with you all.

This salad is great  for summer!  You can bring this salad for a picnics, tailgating, or  potluck dinners, because it it is easy and quick to make  and makes a big batch to share with all your family and friends. When we make it in our home  we can usually cut the recipe in half,  because it is just the two of us. Even then  it still makes a lot  and we eat it for days, I don’t mind though it  is one of my favorites!

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Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cup(s) uncooked orzo pasta (you can also substitute  orzo with couscous or quinoa- Both are just as great!)
12 Ounce(s) canned marinated artichoke hearts
1 seeded, chopped tomato
1 seeded, chopped cucumber
1 chopped red onion
2 Ounce(s) canned, drained black olives
1 Cup(s) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 Cup(s) chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon(s) lemon juice
1/2 Teaspoon(s) oregano
1/2 Teaspoon(s) black pepper

(Optional: Add a 12 oz can of drained chickpeas)

Directions:
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving liquid.

In large bowl combine pasta, artichoke hearts, tomato, cucumber, onion, feta, olives, parsley, lemon juice, oregano and lemon pepper. Toss and chill for 1 hour in refrigerator.

Just before serving drizzle with artichoke marinade
or
4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon garlic and 2 teaspoon dried oregano whisked together

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