Friday, May 20, 2011

Lemon Orzo Verde with Cojita Cheese

I am officially in the "I love Orzo" community. With the arrival of the grilling season, pasta salad is a constant feature on the family dinner table. And what is better than a cold pasta salad as a side dish to accompany any grilled meats which you will be serving. Honestly, this lemon orzo verde salad is so perfect on its own. The only thing I will add to it is Mexican Cojita Cheese which resembles Greek's Feta minus the saltiness. Now, this is what I called "Yummy-licious!"

Lemon Orzo Verde with Cojita Cheese
(Serves 4)
1 cup dried orzo
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups of water
1/4 red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp canola or olive oil
A dash of white wine
2 cups sliced green beans or asparagus
1 cups diced bell peppers or 2 cups spinach leaves
Juice from 1 fresh lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley and chives
1 cup crumbled cojita cheese

Step 1: In a pot, bring 5 cups of water and 1/2 tsp of salt to a rolling boil. Add in orzo. Cook 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: In a pan, heat 2 Tbsp of olive or canola oil. Saute onion and garlic till aromatic. Add in green beans and bell pepper. Cook till softened slightly yet still retain its crunch. Add a splash of white wine to help steam the vegetables but do not cover the pan. You do not want the vegetables to be too soft.

Step 3: In a large bowl, combine lemon juice and lemon zest. Whisk in 1/3 cup of olive oil.

Step 4: Mix in cooked orzo and sauteed vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in freshly chopped parsley and chives. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold. Sprinkle some crumbled cojita cheese on top of the orzo salad.


  1. Sounds interesting. I love to cook/bake periodically and now it is raining. So time to hit the kitchen! :)

  2. This really does sound interesting. It would be a wonderful accompaniment to chicken or shrimp. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  3. @Sue: I know what you mean. It has been raining all week long that I am now back to baking indoor instead of gardening or grilling outdoor

    @Mary: Thank you! Have a great day! God Bless