Orzo salad

Orzo is really Italian pasta shaped in the form of rice.Due to the small size it absorbs flavors quickly and is an easy dish to make.This is a simple recipe with orzo,tomatoes,olives,feta,oregano etc,giving it a greek flavor profile.The dish is lightly tangy from the lemon and at the same time balanced with the sweetness of the craisins,peppery taste from arugula,crunch from the onion and nuts.This dish is truly a blast of flavors.
Preparation time:20 minutes

1/2 cup uncooked orzo(2 oz)
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 tablespoons feta cheese(optional)
1/2 cup italian parsley
1/4 cup diced onions
10 cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/4 cup roasted cashews or pine nuts(optional)
1 cup arugula
1/4 cup craisins(dried cranberries)
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of half a large lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt(adjust to your taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
pinch of cumin powder
1 drop of dijon mustard(optional)
1.Add 2 cups of water and 1/3 teaspoon salt to a saucepan and bring to boil.
2.Add the orzo and let cook for 10 minutes. Check if it is done.Drain the water and let cool.

3.In a blender take the remaining salt, olive oil, black pepper powder, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, cumin powder and oregano and blend until it forms a thicker viscous liquid(this process is called as emulsification)

4.In a bowl take the onion, arugula, craisins, olives, sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and add the dressing prepared in above step to it. Mix well to coat all the ingredients.

5.Now add the cooked orzo to it and mix. Adjust salt. Top with crumbled feta cheese and roasted nuts and serve.

This salad is best served at room temperature or cold.
If you do not have mustard you can use a pinch of mustard seeds powder and a drop of white wine vinegar
If you do not have orzo,you can use any small sized pasta,but the texture that orzo gives will be missed.

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