Copycat Orzo Tabouli Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette from Zoe’s Kitchen

So, motherhood has kinda been monopolizing my time lately. Our 8lb 3oz bundle of joy arrived on 7/11 and changed our lives forever! It’s taken some adjusting and juggling to make time for blogging in my new routine, but I’ve finally managed to get back on the horse! Hopefully I can stay committed to writing more consistently. 🙂

During my maternity leave, I had the pleasure of eating at Zoe’s Kitchen for the first time. Delish! I especially fell in love with their Orzo Tabouli Salad. Too bad we can’t afford for me to eat at Zoe’s every week, because I would get this salad ALL THE TIME!

Fortunately, I tracked down a copycat recipe on Pinterest. I’ve tweaked it slightly to my tastes, but the original is here.

FYI, my version makes a TON of salad because I like to have leftovers for lunches the whole week. Also, sometimes I have no willpower and eat way more of this than I should!

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces (1 box) orzo
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts in brine
  • 2/3 cup (6 oz) Greek Kalamata olives, pitted, halved
  • 1 Canadian cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • spinach and spring leaves salad mix (optional)

Dressing:

  • 1 cup lemon juice (4 large lemons)
  • 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing first so it can set. Start by juicing your lemons. Roll the lemons under the heel of your hand before you cut them in half to help release the juices — a little trick my mom taught me!
  2. In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice with olive oil. Then whisk in 3 teaspoons of dijon mustard and your minced garlic. I just use that ready-made minced garlic that comes in a jar. Yay, convenience! 🙂
  3. Finally, whisk in the thyme, salt, and pepper. Lately, I’ve started using pink Himalayan sea salt. It seems bizarre and pretentious, but you can really taste a difference! I found some at my local Kroger.
  4. Cook the orzo according to the package but make sure to rinse with cold water when it’s done. Add the orzo to a large bowl after it’s drained. Pour over the dressing and stir.
  5. Next, start chopping up your cucumbers, olives, and artichokes. I’m not a huge fan of raw tomatoes, so I omit them, but the original recipe calls for grape tomatoes.
  6. Add the vegetables to the orzo along with feta cheese. Stir until everything is coated in that lovely dressing!

Now, you can serve the orzo over some nice spinach and greens, or shovel it straight into your mouth from the mixing bowl. Your choice. Either way, it is delicious!

Orzo Tabouli with Lemon Vinaigrette

Orzo Tabouli with Lemon Vinaigrette

photo 2

Orzo Tabouli with Lemon Vinaigrette on Greens

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