Over the past weekend, I attended a graduation party. I served this up with raving reviews. It was perfect side dish to grilled tri tip during the hot summer nights.
1 box orzo pasta, cooked according to directions
2 cans large pitted black olives, sliced (1 large can sliced black olives works too)
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 pound cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 bunch basil, roughly chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and quartered
2 avocados, cut into squares
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
6 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons Splenda
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon, no seeds
In a large dressing container combine all ingredients for Greek dressing, set aside.
Cook orzo according to directions and drain water, and rinse in cold water.
In a large bowl combine all other ingredients, except for avocado. The avocado and dressing will be added before serving.
Refrigerate till ready to serve. Dressing is best after sitting overnight, to let the flavors blend.
Right before serving dice the avocado and dress the salad.
Serves a large group as a side dish.
Great for warm summer nights or along side grilled meats!