In the summertime many people want to have quick and refreshing meals so that they can enjoy the fun in the sun as long as possible. Salads that can be made ahead and even taste good the next day (like tabbouleh) are a wonderful edition to your kitchen in the summer. On nights where there are only leftover ingredients or not many things in the pantry, you can take just a few fresh ingredients and make it into something special.
One night I didn’t want to make a big meal because I was tired, but noticed we had some fresh tomatoes and mint. I thought some sort of fresh salad could be made from it and I know that feta cheese with lemon and orzo is tasty. We did have manouri cheese which is similar to feta but less salty, so I thought to try that out. I like to be very resourceful in the kitchen because many people don’t realize that it can look like you have nothing in your fridge or pantry but you can actually manage to make lots of meals.
This salad can be used as a side dish or an entire meal if you wanted to add in some grilled chicken. Other veggies can be added in and if you don’t want orzo because you are eating low carb you can use whole grains like quinoa or cracked bulgur wheat that have more fiber content. Roasted vegetables like eggplant and zucchini can be a nice addition as well. Enjoy experimenting with different textures and flavors when making salads and get your family in on the fun too!
Mint and Lemon Orzo Salad
Servings: 2 servings with leftovers Prep Time: 20-30 minutes
- 1 ½ cups dried orzo
- 3 tomatoes chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
- 1 cup green string beans, cut in halves
- 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (or manouri cheese)
- 2 lemons, juiced (and 1 zested)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the orzo according to package instructions. Drain and rinse until the orzo is slightly cooled.
- Sautee or steam the green beans to your liking.
- Combine and whisk the lemon juice, oregano, white vinegar and olive oil together.
- Assemble together the orzo, tomatoes, mint, string beans, lemon zest, and crumbled cheese. Slowly stir in the dressing and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, and any additional oregano you want. If you are a cheese fanatic, add some extra crumbled on top.