Summer Mac and Cheese: Herbed Orzo with Feta and Figs
This light version of mac and cheese tastes like Greek summer. Mint, basil,lemon, feta, oregano, toasted nuts, and figs, combine to make this an fresh an unexpected take on a summer BBQ classic. Your Aunt Whoever’s mac and cheese will be going home in Tupperware if you bring this to the party.
The ingredients aren’t cheap for this: Greek always costs extra.
1 C pecan halves
1 lb orzo
1 bunch basil, wash and pick leaves
1 bunch mint, was and pick leaves
8 oz. dried figs, stemmed and quartered
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
5 oz. Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1 t honey
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 t dried oregano
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350F. Spread the pecans on a sheet tray. Toast them in the oven for 10 minutes. Set aside.
Get a really big pot of salty water boiling. Throw the orzo in, and cook for 7 minutes. Drain.
Add the mint, basil, feta, olives, and figs to the hot orzo and stir well.
In a small jar, combine the lemon juice, balsamic, honey, olive oil, and oregano. Shake it up, and pour it over the orzo mix. Stir it up. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Eat it hot, cold, or at room temp.