I can't have a food blog without adding a recipe for the crowd favorite - my mom's orzo salad! She used to make this for every BBQ for so many summers. It's great cold right out of the fridge, warm, or room temperature.
The best part is that you can play around with the ingredients and add in whatever you love. Below is how my mom and I make it but feel free to add other veggies, protein, herbs, etc!
1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
2-3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil,
1/4 cup fresh pesto (recipe for an easy pesto is here)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup mozzarella pearls
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
2 tbsp of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
Start by cooking the orzo in salted boiling water until al dente. Strain, stir in 1 tbsp of olive oil so it doesn't stick, and set aside
Next, combine all of the other ingredients - olive oil, pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, oil from the sun-dried tomatoes (this makes is extra good!!), olives, pecorino romano cheese and parsley.
TIP: Make sure your pasta isn't super hot when you add the ingredients, especially the mozzarella or else it will melt.
Let it cool in the fridge and enjoy!