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Sherry vinegar & Orzo salad question

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Making an Orzo salad for brunch this Sunday for a big group and realized I will not have much time in the morning to make it. Can I make it night before with ingredients that include feta, olives, capers, & parsley? Really don't want to assemble at 6:00 a.m. as this recipe is a first for me nor do I have measurements & would have to taste as I go along.

Also, recipe requires white wine vinegar but may I substitute with sherry vinegar? Also have apple cider vinegar & rice vinegar in the pantry. Have never used white wine vinegar therefore, would rather not make a new purchase. Thanks.

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  1. I think it would be even better made ahead with lots of time for the flavors to meld. However, I wouldn't substitute anything for the white wine vinegar except red wine vinegar. The others will not really work with the Mediterranean/Greek flavors of the salad.

    1. I agree that this is a dish that is better if made ahead, it gives the flavors a chance to meld and soak into the orzo. As to using sherry vinegar, it will certainly provide a different flavor that may or may not go well with the other ingredients, as would the other two vinegars you mentioned. It might be best to try a small amount with the sherry vinegar and if you like the result use it for the whole dish.

      1. sherry vinegar is actually a common pairing with those ingredients, and i use it in dishes with similar flavors all the time.

        1. A bottle of white wine vinegar it is...suppose cost is nothing compared to what I'm about to shell out for DD's braces. She's asked me to get her as much sticky, crunchy, chewy foods as possible for consumption in the next couple of weeks.

          Will also prepare night before. Thanks everyone!

          1. I think sherry vinegar would be perfect for this salad. Its very commonly used around the Med.

            Its a stronger flavor than white or red wine vinegar so go easy on it. Taste as you go until you're happy with the result.

            I'd be very careful with the capers.They have a strong taste & can easily 'take over' your salad.

            Marinating overnight is the right thing to do, but leave the vinegar out until an hour or so before serving.

            1. I would not make the whole thing the night before. In my experience, the orzo tends to soak up the dressing and get all puffy. What I would do is prepare all the components the night before, even mix everything but the dressing together, make the dressing separately, then in the morning add the dressing an hour or 2 before you are going to serve.

              2 Replies
              1. re: valerie

                I agree, and the olives stain the Feta and Orzo as well giving a mottled look to the salad.

                1. re: valerie

                  I also agree. In these situations, I make the dressing separately and use half of it the night before in the pasta salad. The flavors meld and it keeps the pasta from clumping, but the pasta soaks up the dressing overnight, so I add the rest of the dressing just before serving to moisten.

                2. Heeded the advice of those who suggested to hold off on the dressing. Made the salad sans feta the night before, added dressing early morning and added cheese about 1/2 hr before serving. Salad was great, thanks!!