Roasted Vegetable, Feta and Olive Orzo Salad

Every settlement has its own benefits particular to that specific area. However, As Newton’s Third Law of Motion tells us, every object that exerts a force on another object, itself experiences an equal, but opposite, reaction. This quote may appear a little tangential at first, but it is a general law that can be applied to where one is situated. For instance, though one may say that it is a great benefit that Aberystwyth is, to all intents and purposes, relatively isolated from any British metropolis since it means that one may lead a peaceful and stress-free existence, it also ensures that travelling is problematic and that holiday-makers flock to the town in the summer. Still, you must be wondering what on earth this has to do with food – fear not for I am about to make an incredibly important point. As you might imagine, Aberystwyth is surrounded by a rural landscape, most of which is owned by farmers, as a result local food isn’t particularly difficult to come by (except seafood, ironically). This is great, but it means that more interesting and exciting items of food can be extremely difficult to find, the orzo pictured below being just one such example. It is sold nowhere – that particular jar of pasta was purchased just outside of London.

For those of you who have similar problems, orzo is a type of pasta shaped very much like long-grain rice. Indeed, the word ‘orzo’ means ‘barley’ in Italian and, as such, is extremely accurately named. Similar varieties of pasta are used in both Greece and Turkey and are generally found lurking in soups and casseroles – something with which I shall soon experiment. However, since the weather is so frustratingly warm at the moment, it seemed like a jolly good idea to prepare a Greek-themed salad. Fortunately, orzo is extremely light and pleasant to ingest in such uncomfortable conditions, so it worked perfectly.

I anticipate that the smart-arsed among you will read the recipe below and immediately challenge the title given to this recipe; the only vegetable present in this dish is the onion. As it happens, since I too have a smart-arse, I agree. However, it is named as such because most would refer to them as vegetables. Just thought I’d cover my smart-arse.

Roasted Vegetable, Feta and Olive Orzo Salad

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

• 200g orzo

• 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped

• 1 yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped

• 1 small courgette, diced

• 1 small red onion, roughly chopped

• Olive oil

• Salt

• A handful of kalamata olives

• A handful of feta cubes

• The juice of ½ a lemon

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Toss the peppers, courgette and onion in a little olive oil and salt. Spread on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, until soft and sweet.

2. After 20 minutes, boil the orzo until soft. Drain the pasta and set aside. Once the veg is done tip it into the orzo in the saucepan and mix. Drizzle over the lemon juice and a little olive oil before mixing in half the olives and feta. Serve at any temperature and finish off with a little more olives and cheese.

Cost: The orzo was surprisingly cheap, at 99p for 500g (which will go far). This, added to the fact that this dish doesn’t make use of any outrageously priced ingredients, means that the entire salad can be yours for only £1.60. I think I’d make a cracking salesman.

 

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85 comments on “Roasted Vegetable, Feta and Olive Orzo Salad

  1. Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    July 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Beautiful! So many delicious ingredients. I’ve never cooked with orzo before but I keep meaning to buy some to give it a go!

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks! You have to, its absolutely fantastic!

  2. Juls
    July 26, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    I’ve had the same problem obtaining orzo here. Now I make my own with a basic pasta dough, pushing it through a strainer into boiling water to cook – not quite as predictably sized with any regularity though, but a useful technique!

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      That’s rather a good idea actually! Thanks, Juls.

  3. spree
    July 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    This is the sort of deliciousness I grew up eating, Nick (my father being Greek.) And still, very little satisfies me in quite the same way as a dish like this. (We throw a little fresh basil and mint over ours too.) Without regard to any laws of physics, this is a very good dish!

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 9:08 pm

      Lucky girl! Haha, I do loves the laws of physics :D

  4. Karen
    July 26, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I love orzo in a nice vegetable salad like this. I think it is a very underused pasta but I never thought about it being hard to find…that’s interesting.

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      I’m glad that you do, Karen :D. Loads of things are hard to find here…

  5. lorrielorrieb
    July 26, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Oddly we have the same problem with the orzo. I CAN find it from time to time in the “specialty” pasta section next to the quinoa, spelt or gluten free stuff and it usually always costs a lot! What isn’t it just in the bulk section of the grocer next to the rice or whatever?? Is there something we don’t know about orzo? Is it hand rolled in sweat shops by under age workers?? The dish looks wonderful….and well worth the search for the elusive orzo!

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Nope, not there… this is deepest Wales :D. I found it in a corner shop in Aylesbury, haha. Haha, perhaps it is… it is awfully small… it’s an amazing pasta.

  6. Peter - The Roaming GastroGnome
    July 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Try cooking orzo “risotto style” by adding stock a cup at a time. It’s not risotto of course but cooks a lot quicker and soaks up all the stock flavor.

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Haha, Peter. You’ve pre-empted me entirely. I was going to do this with lamb soon :D. Such a delicious sounding idea though, right?

  7. cookinginsens
    July 26, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Pretty.

  8. baconbiscuit212
    July 26, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Looks wonderful! I am also surprised that it is not easy to find orzo in Aber. Isn’t there an Italian deli? Or maybe they don’t sell dried pasta . . . or it’s too expensive from them? I never went, I just heard that they opened one . . .

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      There are two now, but one definitely doesn’t have it and perhaps I didn’t have a proper look in other other – either way it would have been overpriced. It’s funny how you hear of goings on in Aber :D

  9. onceuponarecipe
    July 26, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    I do love me a good orzo salad – I have a recipe similar to this one – great for summer!

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Awesome. It’s a total no-brainer recipe. It’s SO good for summer.

  10. Margarita
    July 26, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Maybe couscous, especially the larger grained (called Israeli couscous in NYC), may be easier to find? Lovely salad! :)

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      Nope, more difficult if anything :D. Well, normal cous cous is easy, but it wouldn’t work. The larger one would, but it can’t be found either I don’t think.

  11. glutenfreehappytummy
    July 26, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    how delicious! i love all the olives in there:) mmmm

  12. christinajane
    July 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    You have me stumped! If courgettes and peppers aren’t vegetables, what the heck are they?

    • frugalfeeding
      July 26, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Fruit – they contain seeds/pips.

      • christinajane
        July 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm

        No way – I never would have thought. I guess pumpkins are fruit too then. Crazy.

  13. Kate Olsson
    July 26, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Inspired by the recent sunshine you’ve been having in the UK? This dish looks like sunshine in a bowl! Beautiful.

  14. sil86as2
    July 27, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Hi, I’ve nominated your blog for the Beautiful Blogger award. Just go to my post to see what to do. Good luck!

  15. Promenade Claire
    July 27, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I think living in a any smaller town has it’s ‘joys’ and getting certain kinds of food certainly presents challenges – fish we have plenty, Orzo I’m certain we will have nil, Love the simplicity of this recipe though !

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      I absolutely agree – I think it brings a personal twist to your cooking though.

  16. Savory Simple
    July 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I love orzo salad!

  17. Bob Vivant
    July 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Delicious! I especially love Mediterranean flavors in the summer. This would be tasty with quinoa too, buts that’s probably harder to find than orzo in Aberystwyth.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Yes, they always work so well with the weather. quinoa is VERY easy to find actually :D

  18. Lilly Sue
    July 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    It is only 9:30 (my time) and I am already hungry for lunch :) Yum!

  19. ournewlifeinthecountry
    July 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I love the look and sound of this. I have had Orzo before but always with a cheesey sauce, so this is one dish I will be making, if I can find some Orzo, it’s ALWAYS a hit and miss affair whether I can get hold of any.

    And I would call them veggies, I make Mediteranean Vegetables as our favourite dish all the time, but if I named it ‘officially’ I guess it would be Mediteranean Fruit and Vegetables!!

    You can’t please all the folk all the time!

    Sue xx

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      That sounds nice too! This is the first bag I’ve ever seen in person :D. Haha, you can’t – it would look silly to call it fruit in this case I think.

  20. petitedecadence
    July 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    that looks delicious!! I think I’ll try it for dinner if I get a chance to buy orzo today (the advantage of living in one the largest cities in the world is you can get pretty much anything you heart desires. That is of course, if you’re prepared to drive an hour and a half in horrible traffic to get it :/ ) Maybe I’ll toss in some beans! orzo e fagiole?

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks! Beans would work well, I’m sure. enjoy.

  21. egg me on
    July 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Onions *are* veggies, and I’m not being a smart ass/arse. Looks great. I was just thinking that need more orzo recipes in my arsenal.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      I know, I didn’t say they weren’t (I thought I said they were?). I’ll bring more orzo soon :D

  22. lil' vegan
    July 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Hi! I just wanted to let you know that I nominated your blog for a Food Stories Award (http://foodstoriesblog.com/food-stories-award/). I was nominated myself – the deal is that all nominees have to present 5 blogs that they like, and I chose yours (you can see my post here – I hope you like it: http://onelilvegan.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/who-me/).

    Keep on cookin’!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 7, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      Awesome! thanks – I’m glad you think I’m worthy.

  23. Donna
    July 28, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I am a big fan of Mediterranean food esp Greek food! Looking to add this recipe on my to cook list. :)

  24. dangthatsdelicious
    July 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    I love Mediterranean food esp Greek food! I will save this recipe on my to cook list. :)

  25. Jessica Thompson
    July 28, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Interesting to read a blog from Britain and to see what types of foods you prepare. This dish is popular in the United States. Orzo is very inexpensive here (as is couscous and Israeli couscous although a little more difficult to find for those in rural areas). I didn’t realize how lucky we are to have it.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm

      I’m glad you find my blog interesting :D. You are lucky!

  26. theplumpalate
    July 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Mm. So colorful! I forget to buy orzo – have you ever seen a whole-grain version? Also, olives. Why do I allow them to run out and then not replace them? Lovely post, as always.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      Tut! Yes a grain version would work I’m sure! You’re a bad shopper :D

  27. Karista
    July 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Haha! Fabulous post! And I like your smart arse sense of humor :) Pasta looks delish by the way!

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you think I’m funny :D and not an arse.

  28. myfangalicious
    July 31, 2012 at 7:40 am

    beautiful dish and photography? do you use special lighting or flash?

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks, Fang. Nope, just natural light and sometimes just a little reflection.

  29. cakeboule
    July 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Beautiful summery dish – just my style. I imagine any grain would also work well.

  30. Korena in the Kitchen
    July 31, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    What a beautiful looking dish – so colourful and I bet so tasty!

  31. VogueVegetarian
    August 1, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I’ve kept this page open on my browser for several days now because I want to remind myself to shop for it. It looks so delish! I’ll have to go grab the stuff tomorrow so I can stop drooling all over my keyboard.

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      Blimey – you could just bookmark it :D. I hope you like it if you do make it!

  32. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
    August 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Yes.. onions are veggies and this makes you one smart-orze..er.. arse! What a pretty and fresh dish for summer lunches.. just a glass of white to go alongside:D

    • frugalfeeding
      August 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      Nice try… I’m not the biggest fan of white – though I do like a nice spritzer…

  33. crisgzr
    August 2, 2012 at 2:11 am

    Another stunning recipe, this is one I know I will like! I love every ingredient. Yum!

  34. Clouds of Colour
    August 5, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Absolutely delicious! Your blog is beautiful…so glad I found you! x

    • frugalfeeding
      August 7, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you found me too :D. I hope you return.

  35. petit4chocolatier
    August 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    This recipe looks absolutely delicious. I am going to attempt it! Thank you!

  36. Jessica: Hesitantly Healthy
    August 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Orzo is my favorite summer pasta, and this recipe looks so delicious!

  37. crisgzr
    August 13, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I have eaten this, or a version of, so many times that I had to post a link on my blog back to yours! http://wp.me/p2t7BH-d5 Orzo, olives and feta is such an amazing pairing!

  38. Ardysez
    June 19, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I too live in a remote place and carry food home with me at times. Lovely dish and photos!

  39. Tiffany
    June 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Looks scrummy! The weather may have changed for the worse but, if we’re doomed to be sparse on sunshine, we’d better start stocking up on vitamins for Winter….bring on the ‘veg’! ;-D
    I do love Greek-style salads, and I’ll definitely be sourcing the Orzo (as I live near London!)….what a great way to eat a relatively light but satisfying, healthy meal….thanks for all the enticing photos to help motivate me to cook!!!

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