in the tapestry of life, there are certain threads that weave a story of love, legacy, and flavors that transcend generations.
this is the inspiration for “yiayia’s blue zone kitchen,” a series inspired by the remarkable life and culinary genius of my beloved yiayia.
recently, at the age of 93, she passed away, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire my time in the kitchen.
yiayia, along with my pappou, shared an extraordinary life, both reaching the remarkable age of 93. their secret?
a commitment to the rich traditions of the greek mediterranean diet.
it was not just a way of eating for them; it was a way of life. the vibrant hues of fruits, the robust flavors of olive oil, and the simplicity of ingredients defined their daily nourishment.
my connection with cooking finds its roots in the kitchen of my yiayia. she was not just a cook; she was a wizard of sorts!!
among her best classic dishes, avgolemeno soup stood as a beacon of comfort, warmth, and tradition.
in her honor, i made this soup salad with a little bit of my own twist.
join me in the pages of “yiayia’s blue zone kitchen” as we celebrate a life well-lived, flavors well-savored, and the enduring legacy of a phenomenal cook :).
yiayia’s blue-zone inspired fresh greek orzo salad bursts with vibrant flavors and contrasting textures.
each bite combines the softness of cooked orzo with the crispness of halved cherry tomatoes and diced cucumber, balanced by the briny richness of kalamata olives and the sharpness of chopped red onion.
the creamy vegan feta adds a velvety richness that ties everything together, while the tangy dressing, infused with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and aromatic spices, elevates the dish with a burst of Mediterranean freshness.
originating from the blue zones, regions known for their longevity and healthful diets, this salad draws inspiration from traditional greek cuisine, celebrated for its emphasis on fresh, wholesome ingredients and bold flavors.
its roots trace back to the mediterranean, where generations of cooks like my yiayia have perfected the art of combining simple, seasonal produce with fragrant herbs and quality olive oil to create nourishing dishes.
beyond its delicious taste, yiayia’s blue-zone inspired orzo salad offers an array of health benefits.
packed with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants from the vegetables, it promotes digestive health, boosts immunity, and supports overall well-being.
the inclusion of whole grains like orzo provides sustained energy and helps regulate blood sugar levels, while the heart-healthy fats in olive oil contribute to cardiovascular health.
furthermore, opting for vegan feta and hummus reduces saturated fat intake while still delivering a satisfyingly creamy texture and savory flavor.
when it comes to storage, this salad is best kept chilled in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
it can be enjoyed immediately after preparing for a refreshing meal or as a side dish, but its flavors meld together even more beautifully if allowed to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
leftovers can be stored for up to three days, though the freshness of the ingredients may diminish slightly over time.
whether served at a family gathering, shared picnic, or casual weeknight dinner, yiayia’s blue-zone inspired fresh greek orzo salad is sure to impress with its vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and wholesome goodness.
embrace the mediterranean lifestyle with each nourishing bite, and savor the simple pleasures of good food and good company.
if you like Yiayia’s Blue-Zone Inspired Fresh Greek Orzo Salad, you’ll also love these other recipes of mine!
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Yiayia’s Blue-Zone Inspired Fresh Greek Orzo SaladCourse: Main Dishes, Pasta, Salads, Side Dishes
2 cups cooked orzo
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1 large cucumber, diced
1 jar kalamata olives, pitted
1/3 cup chopped red onion
8 ounces crumbled vegan feta
for the dressing:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
juice of 1 small lemon
1/4 cup hummus
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
- cook orzo according to package instructions until al dente. once cooked, drain and set aside to cool.
- in a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked orzo, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber, pitted kalamata olives, chopped red onion, and crumbled vegan feta.
- in a separate small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, sea salt, lemon juice, hummus, garlic powder, and dried oregano until well combined to make the dressing.
- pour the dressing over the orzo salad ingredients in the large mixing bowl.
- gently toss the salad until all the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.
- taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, adding more salt or lemon juice according to your preference.
- once everything is well combined and seasoned to your liking, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
- before serving, give the salad a final toss to ensure that the dressing is evenly distributed.
- serve chilled and enjoy your blue-zone inspired fresh greek orzo salad!