My goodness, I love this stuff! I've made it a couple times for parties and it always gets rave reviews. Finally getting around to blogging it - figured I'd share the wealth a little :)
The first time I made this, I did it just as a "dinner" for myself and added some kalamata olives. Now, I usually love olives but I thought they made this too salty. I suppose I should have just rinsed the little buggers but I've left the out every other time I've made it and I do not miss them. If you'd like to add them in, use 1/2 cup pitted and roughly chopped olives per batch (6 servings).
Feel free to experiment with the fresh herbs. I've tried this with just parsley (as the original recipe calls for); with a mixture of 1/2 mint and 1/2 basil; and with a mixture of 1/2 parsley and 1/2 cilantro. Either way, it's fabulous!
I highly recommend making this ahead of time and letting it sit in the fridge for as long as you can. This will give it time for the flavours to really all mix together and seep into the orzo. Yum! *Just leave the cheese off until you are ready to serve.*
Good pinch of saffron
1 pound orzo
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (see note about herbs above)
1/8 cup lemon juice (I usually use more - I love lemon!)
1 tbsp. capers, drained (I also give mine a quick rinse)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
1/4-1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 cup crumbled feta (chopped goat cheese is also wonderful with this salad)
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the saffron and then the orzo. Cook for 10-15 minutes (or as the package directs), until the orzo is al dente. Drain the orzo and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
2. While the orzo cooks, grab a large glass bowl and toss together the olive oil, pepper, sea salt, herbs, lemon juice, capers, and sugar. Once the orzo is cooled, give it a good toss in the dressing mixture. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and red onions as well as the olives (if desired). Stick this in the fridge for at least one hour. Once it is ready to serve, carefully toss in the feta or goat cheese. Enjoy :)
Based on the "Orzo and Feta with Lemon-Caper Dressing and Kalamata Olives" recipe from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook.