Orzo Salad

This is one of my favorite side dishes, and I especially like it with anything Mediterranean.  I made this to go with lemon-oregano grilled lamb chops for dinner, and probably could have hoovered the entire thing myself.  This is good warm or cold, so leftovers are very useful.  This could also be a main dish for a vegetarian night if you paired with a salad, etc.

•    2 cups uncooked orzo
•    1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
•    plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
•    1/4 red onion, diced
•    Pitted kalamata olives to taste (I like tons)
•    About 1/4 of a cup of parsley
•    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
•    1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
•    1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
•    Freshly ground black pepper
•    3 or 4 ounces reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
•    artichoke hearts – optional
•    oregano to taste

Cook orzo in a large pot of salted water; when finished, add all ingredients save feta and stir to combine.  Once the pasta has cooled slightly, stir in feta.  Serve warm or cold.

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