Memories of Easter make me homesick. Not only for home but everybody and everything familiar with home. Growing up in a little North Georgia town where everybody married and settled down in the same town I had the great opportunity of actually having a relationship with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I grew up on a little dirt road where I could walk to my grandparent’s house. My best friends (my cousins) lived just next door.
Families are smaller and more scatter these days. Even my kids don’t know their cousins and extended family the way I did. I have enjoyed moving and living in different cities as an adult, but did I cheat my children of the great family memories like I have?
If you are lucky enough to be gathering with family this Easter, here is a salad that everyone will love. You can assemble it the day before, and it will hold up great. This recipe comes from Pastry Queen Parties by Rebecca Rather and Alison Oresman. It is one of my favorite things to make up and have for lunch on weekdays. These salad jars would be perfect for picnics too.
Just a quick update on my recovery. Other than pain from the staples in my heel I am doing great. I will be in a cast by the time you read this. I still can’t stand or walk on my surgery foot, but if all goes well hopefully that will come in two weeks! I do have a touch of cabin fever, or maybe it’s farm fever. I would just love to hop in the old Suburban and drive! That will not come for a while but at this point the simple act of walking will be great!
Wishing each of you a blessed and happy Easter!
- ¼ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
- ½ c. white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. milk honey
- ⅔ c. extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 c. feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 lb. orzo pasta
- 1 (16-oz.) bag baby greens, spinach, arugula, or romaine
- 5 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ c. pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- 1 cucumber, coarsely chopped (with peel)
- ½ c. feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano, or 2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
- TO MAKE DRESSING: In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the feta. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- TO MAKE THE SALAD: In a large pot, cook the orzo in salted water according to the package instructions. Drain and run cold water over the pasta to stop the cooking. Put the orzo in a large bowl and toss with ½ cup of the dressing. In a small bowl, stir together the green oinions, tomatoes, olives, and cucumber. In a separate small bowl, stir together the ½ c. feta and the oregano.
- TO ASSEMBLE THE LAYERS: Have 12 (1-pint_ wide mouth canning jars with lids ready. Spoon ⅓ c. of the orzo into the bottom of each jar, and follow with 1 layer each of the following; ¼ c. green onion-tomato-olive-cucumber mix, 2 tsp. feta-oregano mix, and ½ c. packed greens. Spoon about 1 tbsp. of the dressing on top of each salad. (You will have some dressing left over for another use.) Top with lids and refrigerate until needed. To serve, shake the jar to distribute the dressing.
- DO IT EARLY; The dressing and orzo can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Assemble the salad in jars up to 6 hours before it is to be served. Keep it cold until serving time.