I first made this feta and dill orzo salad a few weeks after I returned from studying abroad in Greece one summer in college. By the end of my stay, I thought I had eaten enough tomatoes and feta to last me a lifetime, but soon enough I found myself missing the flavors of Greece. This recipe brings back fond memories of leisurely meals at carefree and balmy tavernas, and the best part is that it’s super quick and easy to make! It’s one of my favorite dinners to make when I’m in a bit of a time crunch (as has been the case lately), and I like to think of it as a spiffed-up Greek version of macaroni and cheese. It’s savory, it’s tangy, it’s satisfying… so, as they say in Greece, Kali orexi! (Enjoy your food!)
- 1 1/4 cup uncooked orzo
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces crumbled feta
- Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat for one or two minutes. Put chicken thighs in skillet and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove from heat.
- While chicken is cooking, bring a medium saucepan of water up to a boil. Cook orzo according to directions on package.
- While chicken and orzo are cooking, wash and cut tomatoes in half. Once the cooked chicken is cool enough to touch, chop into strips half an inch in width. Drizzle chicken strips with balsamic vinegar.
- When orzo is done, drain and return to pot. Add olive oil, lemon juice, dill, and salt.
- Add chicken and tomatoes and toss to combine. Garnish with feta and serve.
- Serves 3 for an entrée; 6 for a side dish.
Made this recipe the other day. I’m visiting my parents at the moment, so had to seek out orzo at the local grocery store. When I finally found orzotto, I was so excited that I put it right in the shopping basket. Despite being precisely the same shape and size, it turns out ‘orzotto’ is actually barley, and according to wikipedia, “not to be confused with orzo” — oops! After some additional improvisation back home the dish was complete, and actually tasted remarkably similar to our own back home!
Interesting! I’d never actually heard of orzotto before – was it located in the pasta section at the store?