Saturday, December 4, 2010

Salmon Orzo Mediterranean

Contributed by Dawn Marie Hamilton

The word orzo is Italian for barley, referring to the shape and size of the pasta as it looks somewhat like a grain of rice. I've always thought of orzo pasta as Greek because of its popularity in the region, but you will find the tiny pasta in other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern recipes.

During a recent visit to the Boston area, I enjoyed a wonderful salmon fillet with an orzo side dish in an Italian restaurant. After returning home, I thought, why not combine the two and I came up with the following colorful recipe:

1 1/2 lb. salmon fillet
2 cups orzo pasta
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh oregano, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
4 scallions, chopped with greens

1. Broil, bake, or microwave salmon fillet and keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, cook orzo pasta according to package directions in a large saucepan.

3. In a small bowl combine and whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, black pepper and red pepper flakes.

4. When pasta has finished cooking and while still hot, drain and return to pan. Add spinach, bell pepper, cucumber, and scallions. Add lemon juice mixture and toss. Break cooked salmon fillet into small pieces and mix in. Serve immediately.

* This recipe is also good served cold the next day.

Provides four servings. Enjoy!


  1. Sounds like a wonderful dish-for-all-seasons, Dawn. I'm guessing it would also be great with any firm fleshed fish, such as halibut or swordfish.

  2. Very true, Pat. Hake would also be nice, if you can get it. Salmon isn't really Mediterranean but my favorite fish.

  3. Ooh, I love salmon any way, shape or form and this looks GREAT. Will probably try it tonight.

  4. Me too, Miriam. If you try the recipe, I hope you enjoy it!