Orzo Salad from Southern Lady/Simply Southern Magazine, 2012

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Made with fantastic summer vegetables, this orzo salad is the perfect dish for any picnic or get together. It’s fresh, easy to make and delicious.

Question: What is underneath Lady Liberty’s (the Statue of Liberty) foot?

No cheating by googling it. Do you know?

Don’t worry; I didn’t know either until yesterday when Dudette and I were doing a little summer studying and the Statue was our topic.

I found out then that the seven spikes on her crown stand for the seven continents and seven oceans on our planet.  I found out that she’s stepping forward on purpose; to symbolize progress and our moving forward.

The Statue of Liberty is one amazing woman.

My mom has special feelings for Lady Liberty as well. In 1960 she was on the S.S. Statendam making her first trip from France to the United States. The day before arriving, the announcement was made ship wide that they were approaching New York. Everyone went on deck to try and catch the first glimpse of the torch.

It’s a beautiful thing to see from the land; I know that because I’ve seen it. Mom says that it’s even more spectacular from the ocean. After spending three days surrounded only by water, to see the lady rising up out of the blue struck her with awe. In fact, as she was telling me the story, goosebumps crept up and down her arms.

I’ve seen it that way too. A year later, Mom made the voyage again, this time with a two year-old boy and a four week-old little baby; me. I can’t say I remember anything, but my passage to becoming a U.S. citizen began with a view of the Statue of Liberty and a trip past Ellis Island. How cool is that?

Oh yeah, what’s under her foot?

It’s a broken chain, representing the United States’ fight and commitment to freedom.

The Process

I love that we celebrate our Nation’s declaration of freedom by joining together around the table. Of course, I’m always a mess days before a gathering, trying to decide what to bring. For today, I chose something that would stand up under temperatures that were doing their best to hit triple digits again.

This pasta salad without a hint of mayonnaise hit the mark perfectly. It’s totally summer with the crunch of cucumber and flavor of garden-ripe tomato. It’s creamy with the olives, tangy feta and tender artichoke. It’s fresh with the splash of lemon vinaigrette seasoning it.

Also, it’s so very easy to throw together.

The Verdict

Success! The salad is delicious. For youngsters (like Dudette), the feta may be a little to tangy, but for adults, it pairs perfectly with whatever was grilled. I’m not admitting to anything, but keeping an eye on the bowl in hopes that it’s not all eaten and I’ll be able to have some as leftovers tomorrow might just be on the agenda this afternoon.

What I’d Do Different Next Time

I think avocado added to it would be delicious, but it’s fine as is too.

The Recipe

Orzo Salad from Southern Lady/Simply Southern Magazine, 2012
Prep time
Total time
Reviewed by:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8-10
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound box orzo pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1 seedless cucumber, diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 14 oz can quartered artichoke hearts,drained
  • 6 oz can whole pitted black olives, drained
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  1. In small bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, chives and and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine pasta, cucumber, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives and feta cheese. Pour lemon juice mixture over pasta and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

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