What to do with all those garden tomatoes and cucumbers?
Funny you should ask, I happen to have this amazing Mediterranean Tomato and Cucumber Orzo Salad handy. 😉
This is my all time favorite summer pasta salad. It’s tangy and light — no mayo anywhere in sight. The recipe came from a coworker who put her own spin on Giadia’s Orzo salad recipe from Foodnetwork. Of course, I then added my own twist. I kept my coworker’s inclusion of cucumbers and got rid of Giada’s chick peas, then adjusted the measurements since I wanted a little less oil. I substituted grape seed oil for the olive oil since my hubby can’t have olive oil (poor guy). I often use grape seed oil as an olive oil substitute since the flavor is nicer than regular cooking oil.
What makes this side dish “Mediterranean?”
The combination of mint and lemon are what gives this dish it’s most recognizably “Mediterranean” flavor. Although Mediterranean foods commonly employ a number of other spices, mint and lemon can be found as the main flavors in other Mediterranean dishes such as tabbouleh.
Love Mediterranean flavors? Browse all my Mediterranean inspired recipes.
Make more or less depending on your need.
The recipe below makes enough for our small backyard barbecues, so if you wanted to make this for lunches or just as a dinner side item, then I’d half the recipe. I’ve gotten a lot of rave reviews from friends and family every time I make this so I have a feeling you’re going to enjoy this one!
How to Make and Store Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing
You’re going to l-o-v-e this honey vinaigrette dressing, I promise! It goes great on anything. Fresh veggies, garden salads as well any cold pasta salad. So if you want to, you can actually double or triple the recipe for the dressing and then save the extra. It stores well in the fridge for several months. I use a Mason Jar with a pour cap to store the extra dressing.
Need even more side dish ideas?
Check out all my side dish recipes!
If you like this orzo pasta salad, then you’ll love my variation of this recipe, just without orzo. It’s the same light, Mediterranean flavors, just without orzo so it comes together in just 5 minutes. Perfect for a quick weeknight vegetable side dish. Get my herbed tomato and cucumber salad recipe.