Orzo Summer salad (Manestra Stolismenh)

Written by litsa on. Posted in Recipes, Salads

Orzo or Manestra as we call it in Greek is my favorite comfort food.

I like it the traditional way, but it’s a lot of fun to experiment and come up with a new recipe.

I like to play with the different ingredients and this time, this salad is awesome. Summer is upon us and salads are a must for me. I like to have them ready and available when hunger strikes. Pasta is easy to prepare and when you add some fresh vegetables it becomes like my mother said when I was preparing it “Manestra stolismenh”.I thought it was so cute and I adopted the name. What a pleasure to be trying out recipes and have my dear mother keeping me company and always having something sweet to say…..

Have fun with this Orzo salad. Make some extra and look around and really see…….Maybe a dear friend is sick, an older person can’t cook, be generous and share…..It is better to give than to receive Jesus said and there is so much wisdom in his words!

The recipe

  • Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo
  • 1 red onion diced
  • I small bunch dill finely cut (or the herb of your choice)
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 2 avocado diced (not very soft)
  • 1 can black beans (540 ml strained)
  • 2 small zucchini diced
  • Kalamata olives (optional)
  • Shrimp as many as you like per person


For the dressing: olive oil and white balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, pinch of sugar


Boil Orzo in plenty of salted water, al dente.for the best results make sure orzo is 100% Semolina.

Strain Orzo and place in a large Platter. Add a little oil like 2 tbsp and season with salt, pepper, and mix well.

Add the rest of the goodies and the dressing, mix well and refrigerate for a few hours for best results.

Just before serving, Sauté shrimp in a little olive oil with salt pepper and deglaze with a little white balsamic vinegar. Place on top of your  orzo salad and serve.

P.S. Shrimp is ready when it changes color to a nice pink….I use shelled deveined shrimp!

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Children's book and cookbook author Litsa Bolontzakis is an expert on Greek cooking and that culture's easy, simple way of life. Her desire is to help other families learn from her culture how to appreciate the simple things in life and grow to enjoy the seasons and the gifts they bring.

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