Thursday, April 14, 2011

Greek Salad with Orzo and Black Eyed Peas

Greek Salad typically contains cucumbers, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, red onion, feta, oregano, and olive oil.  It's a universal staple as far as salads go and for good reason.  It's flavorful, colorful, and sturdy.  It's also not prone to wilting and easily transportable. 

Look at how attractive and fun these mason jars are filled with layers of ingredients for Greek salad.  Fill the jars, cover with lids, and refrigerate for up to 6 hours before serving.  Then simply place the containers on your favorite tray and they are ready for transporting (in style) to your next potluck or BBQ.  The reason the layering works so well is that the juices are in the bottom layers.  The romaine is near the top so it does not get soggy.  The feta is on top so it doesn't turn into sludge, and it's all garnished with a couple peperonici.  No frills.  No fuss.  If the mason jars are over the top for you, simply toss the ingredients in a bowl and go. 

This variation includes orzo pasta and black-eyed peas--ingredients that keep the salad vegetarian but add substance, protein, and antioxidants.  Substantial enough to be served as an entree with crusty bread; tasty enough to serve as a appetizer with pita chips; appealing enough to serve as a side salad with grilled leg of lamb or grilled chicken with tzatziki.

Greek Salad with Orzo and Black Eyed Peas
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3/4 cup orzo, uncooked
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, diced (1 cup)
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, cored, and diced (1 cup)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, slivered
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon oregano, finely chopped
2-3 cups romaine, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound feta, crumbled (1 cup)
3-6 peperoncini

1.  Cook orzo according to package directions.  Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold water until cool.  Drain well.  Toss with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.

2.  Toss black-eyed peas, tomato, and parsley with vinegar, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Marinate, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, toss together remaining tablespoon olive oil, cucumber, olives, red onion, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

4.  Divide black-eyed peas mixture (with juices) among 3 wide mouth jars or containers with lids.  Then add a layer of orzo pasta, a layer of cucumber mixture, a layer of romaine, and a layer of feta.  Top with 1-2 pepperoncini in each jar/container.  Assembled jars can be chilled up to 6 hours.  Serve at room temperature.

Alternatively, all the ingredients may be tossed into a large bowl and garnished with peperoncini.

Recipe from

Other Greek-inspired salads and appetizers that you may enjoy:
Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad Recipe by Kalyn's Kitchen
Radish and Cucumber Salad with Feta by
A Great Skinny Greek Salad by Skinny Kitchen
Layered Greek Dip by Noble Pig
Greek Salad Salsa with Toasted Pita Chips by Inspired2cook
Layered Mediterranean Salad by Never Enough Thyme
Greek Pasta Salad by In Flora's Kitchen

This recipe is linked to Foodie Friday, Friday Favorites, Friendly Friday, Hop Along Friday, and I'm Lovin' It.


Heather said...

I love that salad in a mason jar! Fun!

Opal Stevens said...

I'm your newest follower :)!

LisaWeidknecht said...

Congratulations! I've awarded you The Versatile Blogger Award!

Have a great day!

Mamahollioni said...

Opal--Glad to have you! Welcome!

Lisa--Thank you for the award. That just put a smile on my face and it will stay for the whole day!