Easy. Simple. Nice. This is what I served with the Alevropita that I posted earlier this week.
Here is the challenge. I wanted a big leafy salad. I actually ended up wondering if all of the toppings combined with the dressing made a better chicken salad. It is really a toss-up. So I made a plan-over meal. I prepped and dressed all of the veggies, cheese and chicken, and served it on top of a bed of lettuce and orzo. Then I took what was left of the dressed veggies and cheese and mixed in the unused orzo and ate it as a cold salad the next day. One cup of dry orzo makes a ton of pasta. The leftover chicken salad was delicious. Linda, my neighbor, took some to lunch the next day. She had a truly valid point that it could use a tad more color…perhaps some chopped spinach or basil or even black olives. I agree and I suspect I’ll try that next time. If you take the plan-over route, keep an extra lemon handy and give your salad a shot of fresh lemon juice and a bit of salt right before you eat it.
|Greek Orzo and Chicken Salad|| |
- 1 bunch green onions, cleaned and chopped (white and light green parts only)
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts in water
- 1 can heart of palm
- 1 head of Romaine lettuce
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
- chicken (10 tenders or 2 breast halves)
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 4 ounces feta cheese (or more)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- Add the orzo to a pot of boiling water and cook to your desired tenderness (6 to 7 minutes for me), and drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water to cool off the pasta. Remove the cans of artichoke and heart of palm from the refrigerator and drain them thoroughly. Slice the heart of palm into ¼” rounds. If the artichoke pieces are large, chop them a bit smaller too. Wash the lettuce and allow it to dry thoroughly.
- To cook the chicken, slice it into bite sized pieces, and season it with dried oregano and a little salt and pepper. Place about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan heated over medium heat. Cook the chicken in about two batches until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. Put it on a plate to rest, covered with foil. You can also grill the chicken or use a pre-cooked chicken…or whatever works for you. I used tenders.
- When the orzo and chicken have cooled, you can assemble the salad. Put lettuce on each salad plate with a generous heap of orzo. If you are planning on having some of the chicken salad for lunch the next day, remember to set aside some of the orzo. In a separate bowl, combine the artichoke hearts, the heart of palm, the tomatoes, the chicken, and the feta. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour it over the vegetables and cheese, tossing it together gently. Serve the dressed vegetables over the lettuce and orzo. Enjoy!
There is no reason you couldn’t go ahead and combine the orzo with the veggies in the beginning and toss it with the dressing.
I served this with the Alevropita and it was a delicious and filling meal.
I think it would be good without the chicken, as well, if you want a lighter or vegetarian salad.
The olive oil in the photo is made by the Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Company. It is called Terra Verde, and it is a really lovely oil. If you want to try a great Italian olive oil with a Texas connection, consider Tutta Toscana which is made in Italy by PIE friend and Texan Betty Nadalini, and can be purchased at Flavors from Afar.