Picnic Perfect: Sundried Tomato and Feta Orzo

What makes this orzo so picnic perfect? Well, besides the fact that it’s easy as hell to assemble and yields a lot of servings (especially if those servings are a scoop on a plate with lots of other BBQ goodness), it tastes best if you assemble in advance and allow it to cool to room temperature before serving. In other words, whip it up and pack it up, it’ll be ready when you are.

Orzo with Sundried Tomatoes and Feta

Brad and I have become picnic professionals these days. Our backyard, where we typically enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the warm months of the year, has been under construction (actually it’s the back facade of the house that’s being worked on) and off limits to us for about 4 weeks now. Feeling desperate to eat outdoors, weather permitting, we’ve gotten into the habit of bringing a picnic lunch out to our front stoop.

Lunchtime Stoop Picnic

Sundried Tomato and Feta Orzo

  • 1 16 oz. package orzo
  • 6-8 oz. sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil), cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 6-8 oz. feta, cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup shallots (1 large or a few small), minced
  • Generous handful of parsley and/or mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (you can also use red wine vinegar)
  • salt and pepper

Cook the orzo in salted, boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup water before draining. Toss the cooked orzo with the sundried tomatoes, shallots, 1/4 cup of reserved water, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste, until evenly mixed (add more water if the mixture seems dry). Add the feta, herbs and vinegar and toss until just combined. Serve immediately or allow to cool to room temperature.

*Full disclosure, I never really measure this stuff, especially the oil and vinegar – I’d say a few generous swirls of oil and a splash of vinegar.

*In the summer when they’re in season, I replace the sundried tomatoes with roasted red peppers.

Makes about 8-10 generous side dish servings. This dish is a great side for grilled or roasted chicken, and is most definitely enjoyable the next day.

One Response to “Picnic Perfect: Sundried Tomato and Feta Orzo”

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