This orzo halloumi and olives delicious and refreshing salad is one on those light salads that despite looking more of a summery meal can be made all year round and always feel really good and fresh a lighter option, of course.
We have been into eating orzo quite a bit lately, especially the kids, they just love it. Must be its cuteness - a pasta that resembles rice grains that tastes really good. I am not sure you use orzo in your cooking but we prefer it especially in pasta salads as it is just there to make the dish more delish and it doesn’t feel like you are having much pasta.
A nice pasta dish is a nice pasta dish and I do not even care that much how my clothes look on me after all, haha.
Who likes olives?
We do, we definitely do love olives. They are another ingredient that we could not really live without and my fridge is never short of. Olives are nice stuff, they are simply delicious adding that little saltiness to any dish, gorgeous little things.
Are you a texture person?
There are quite a few textures in this dish and if you like textures, this pasta dish is definitely for you. Texture and all the different flavours given by the halloumi cheese combined with the rocket salad, olives and pomegranate seeds - the latter adding a sweet crunch to this salad making it even more wonderful and nutritious.
If you would like another halloumi recipe you could try this halloumi quiche.
What vinaigrette to use in this salad?
I’m normally not much into vinaigrettes and sauces but this salad does ask for a little drizzle of a nice and simple vinaigrette and here you can choose your favourite one. I have used a classic olive oil, lemon, sesame seeds and dry herbs but get adventurous and use whatever one you like.
Serving suggestions and alternatives
Here you have a refreshing, light and an any time salad that's fit for everyone in any season.
Orzo can be replaced by a gluten-free pasta to make it a suitable option for those that are gluten intolerant.
I have to say that I do not always fancy olive oil so my other option which I absolutely love is walnut or avocado oil.
Since this orzo salad contains olives, olive oil it’s perfect here. I sometimes replace olives with fresh figs and walnuts that were slightly toasted. It’s simply delish.
Here’s the recipe folks, ready in a jiffy.
All seasons orzo, halloumi and olive salad
For the salad:
- 240 g orzo
- 200 g halloumi cheese
- 100 g rocket salad
- 120 g pomegranate seeds
- 12 olives
- 1 carrot shredded
- 1/4 cabbage shredded (optional)
- 1 tsp lemon rind
- 10 springs fresh parsley
For the Vinaigrette:
- 1 lemon the juice
- 2 tsp sesame seeds lightly toasted
- 3-4 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
- 1 tbsp Italian dry herbs oregano, basil
- Firstly let’s start by boiling the orzo. Place the pasta into a saucepan with plenty of boiling water and salt. Boil for 7 minutes stirring occasionally. When pasta is cooked drain, rinse with cold water and mix in well a drizzle of olive oil. This really helps with keeping the pasta away from sticking.
- While pasta is cooking, grill or pan fry the halloumi cheese until nice, gooey and slightly golden brown.
- Chop the parsley, olives and de-seed 1/2 pomegranate. Grate or spiralize the carrot, shred the cabbage. Place all in a bowl keeping a handful of pomegranate seeds and a good pinch of chopped parsley aside for scattering on top of the salad before serving.
- Place all vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, close the lid and give it all a good shake. Vinaigrette is ready!
- Add the boiled and slightly cooled orzo to the bowl with olives and parsley, give it a good old mix, add the halloumi cheese and serve on a bed of rocket salad.
- Drizzle the vinaigrette over, scatter the pomegranate seeds, the chopped parsley and ENJOY!