This recipe is so simple and satisfying. I make it all the time in the summer because it really goes with anything and everything. The orzo cooks up in about 11 minutes after the water boils. It holds up well in the fridge so it is a great make ahead side dish. If there are any leftovers it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days!
You can substitute white rice for the orzo and it is equally as good. And- with rice it is gluten -free! What a great way to use up leftover rice!
The simplicity of the ingredients allows each one to shine. I use Kalamata olives but any good olives can be used. If you like the olives, you will like the salad. Just avoid the canned black olives -they don't have enough flavour to lend this dish.
The green onions really stand out in this dish. Because there are only 4 ingredients....(yes...four!) each one really shines in the dish. I don't think other onions would be as good but in a pinch I might use red onions if I didn't have any green onions.
You don't need or want to add any salt to this recipe because the olives are salty enough.
This makes a satisfying side for any summer supper and is also great to take on a picnic. Recent research has shown that commercial mayonnaise has acids and salt that actually inhibit the growth of bacteria so it is a fallacy that mayonnaise salads don't do well at a picnic. Eggs are pasteurized so also do not pose any undue risk.
This salad is a great one to make ahead. The flavours meld nicely. The pasta or rice will absorb the mayonnaise over time so if you are making ahead you can add the mayonnaise about a half hour before serving. If you do mix it up entirely ahead of time you might want to add another tablespoon of may just before serving to keep it from being sticky.
I get asked for this recipe every time I make it so I am now happy to share with you!
Black Olive Orzo Salad
- 1 ½ cups orzo
- water and salt for cooking orzo
- 3 Tbsps mayonnaise
- 15 Kalamata black olives 12 pitted and rough chopped plus 3 whole for garnish
- 3 green onions white and light green parts chopped + 1 green stem julienned for garnish
- Cook orzo according to package instructions. This usually means bringing water and salt to a boil and adding orzo to cook for approximately 11 minutes.
- While orzo is cooking chop olives and onions.
- Rinse orzo in cold water and drain as soon as it is cooked.
- Mix orzo, olives, onions and mayonnaise.
- Refrigerate to allow flavours to mix.