I fell in love with heirloom tomatoes this year, and my passion only intensifies the more I use them.  Get a bunch of tomatoes, of all colors and shapes you can find.  Dice them, keep the skin and the seeds.  This is a simple dish.  Refreshing, absolutely perfect for a 110 F day (that is 43 C, folks!).   Actually, I am not complaining: my Brazilian nature takes the heat with poise, dignity,  and uncooked pasta sauces.  😉

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 cup uncooked orzo
3-4 heirloom tomatoes, diced
kalamata olives, pitted, coarsely diced
fresh parsley, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
splash of white balsamic vinegar
salt and black pepper to taste
crumbled feta cheese
lemon zest to taste (optional)

Start by making the relish:  mix in a bowl the diced tomatoes, olives, season with salt and pepper, add the olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar.  Stir occasionally as you boil the water to cook the orzo.

Cook the orzo according to the package instructions.  Drain, add it to the fresh tomato mixture, mix the parsley, add the crumble feta on top, and mix gently, no need to try to fully incorporate it.  Serve with a nice sprinkle of fresh lemon zest on top, if desired.


to print the recipe, click here

This dish is all about the contrast between hot orzo and cold relish.  I would have added capers if our bottle was not 312 miles away in another kitchen.  Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of what is where. Often while at a grocery store  in Manhattan we are sure to have something already in the fridge, and we sure do, but the fridge in question is in Norman… and vice-versa.  The bottom line: if you have capers, add them.  Leftovers are great cold too.

And now, for something completely different (great show, BTW)…  We are often concerned with the quality of the ingredients we use in our cooking, right? Let me now share with you something  equally important: the kind of labor involved in bringing an ingredient to your table.  Please jump here for a very informative article published in “Not Without Salt” and learn what may be hiding behind the gorgeous tomatoes you bring home.

ONE YEAR AGO:  Headed to Brazil!

TWO YEARS AGO: The Rhubarb Brouhaha: Revelation Compote

THREE YEARS AGO: Love me tender…


  1. I love the colorful look of heirloom tomatoes too! As soon as I spot them, I’ll grab a bunch and just go from there. I think you can never go wrong with whatever way you use them (unless cooked down to blah colorless)
    This is a perfect summer dish, both in presentation, ease and taste!!


  2. This recipe looks fantastic, Sally, but I came back to read the info on the tomato harvest. I’d no idea that the pickers were still treated this way today. I will definitely keep them in mind when I make my purchases. I just wonder what other produce may be harvested by “slaves.”


  3. Heirloom tomatoes are my favorite part of summer! Most of them are so sweet I can eat them like candy. I love the sound of this dish! Simple and oh so satisfying.


  4. I love simple hot/cold salads this summer. We made one with farro last night. I love this salad as-is, but Mike would love the capers. And I’m with you-I don’t mind the heat. 🙂


  5. Delightful Sally – I find myself eating these sorts of salads all summer long… it’s just the best, takes no time at all to spin together and you can keep varying as you please. The elements are so yummy in this orzo – particularly like the combination of olives (love my olives :)) and feta. I’m always amazed by the different colours and shapes of heirloom tomatoes – they can be truly spectacular and taste so darn good!


    • I made a very simple salad yesterday with cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, lemon juice. A tiny touch of olive oil, but it was mainly a citric dressing. Almost a “ceviche” of sorts. Gosh, it tasted soooooo good!


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