Greek orzo salad

Irisa Raina 9


Now I know what you are thinking sugar in Italian dressing? Yes and let me tell you why. When I lived in Michigan we had this amazing pizza and burger joint called POPEYES “ not the chicken place” LOL they served this wonderful Greek pizza a salad on top of it every Thursday. Well after much prodding and begging for their salad dressing recipe they told me {sugar, red pepper flakes and Italian dressing} so simple and so delicious. Guess I’ll have to recreate that pizza!!!!!
I love using orzo, you can change the way you serve it by changing the ingredients to suit taste.

pinch tips: How to Quarter a Chicken




Stove Top


½ package about 8 oz. orzo, boiled in salted water until al dente { about 10 minutes } and then rinsed in cold water
fresh broccoli { cut into bite size flowerets } i used about 1 bunch
1 roasted red peppers, diced
¼ of a red onion chopped pretty fine
grape style tomatoes { cut in ½ } about 14
about 10 pieces of dried apricots { chopped into tiny bite size pieces }
2 tablespoons bourbon { optional ]
1/4 teaspoon salt (more if desired)
¾ cup italian salad dressing
3 teaspoons turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vernor’s gingerale { or seagram’s’ }
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3 green onions, thinly sliced
peperoncini’s { i forgot to put these on the salad } sorry

Directions Step-By-Step

In a small jar put 3/4 cups of your favorite Italian salad dressing; add the sugar, red pepper flakes, ginger ale and the fresh ground pepper. Shake this vigorously and refrigerate. Give this a good shake every once in a while. Pull this out 30 minutes before you assemble the salad.
Cut the tomatoes in ½ and chop the apricots and put them in a container, pour the bourbon on top seal the container and turn it over { carefully } every so often, refrigerate. Bring this out about 30 minutes before assembling the salad.
Cook the orzo according to the package directions, drain and rinse and drain again then put the orzo into a large bowl.
In the same pot bring the water to a rolling boil, salt it and drop in the flowerets’. Blanch them for about 15 to 20 seconds then remove them and put them into ice water for a second or two, to stop the cooking. Remove them from the water and drain on paper towel. When they are all drained cut them into bite size pieces, and add to the orzo.
Prep the red peppers by giving them a rough chop then add to the orzo.
Finely chop the red onion into small pieces, and add to the orzo.
Add the grape/cherry tomatoes and apricots and add to the bowl, along with any little bit of remaining bourbon that has not been absorbed by the fruit.
Mix the orzo carefully and season with salt if necessary.
Add the dressing a little at a time till you feel you have enough on it, refrigerate the salad. Some of the dressing will soak into the orzo so just before serving if necessary add any remaining dressing and mix.
Check again for seasonings, salt and pepper adding more if necessary.
Top with the feta cheese and garnish with the green onions just before serving.
Add a few peperoncini’s on the side.
If you don’t want to add the bourbon, slice the tomatoes in ½ and leave them plain, but cut the apricots and soak them in some water. Discard the water when draining them.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pasta Salads, Other Salads
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Greek