Spinach and Orzo Salad

May 29, 2010

Spinach and Orzo Salad

Spinach and Orzo Salad

Still need a quick and easy idea for a side salad to include in your Memorial Day menu?

This is the perfect salad to take to an outdoor cookout or to pack up individually for a nice Summer picnic.  Since there's no mayo in this herb vinaigrette-dressed pasta salad, it lasts up to two hours at room temperature and up to four hours on ice packs.

I just made this salad and am taking it tomorrow to serve at our Memorial Day cookout. It turned out awesome and I think it'll be even better tomorrow after the flavors have a chance to meld together overnight.

If you saw my Toasted Orzo soup recipe that I made recently, you know that I'm a huge fan of orzo pasta. And even though you could make this same recipe with different pasta noodles, the orzo was perfect in this salad. The only thing I changed in this recipe is that I used fresh basil instead of dried.

Spinach and Orzo Salad
(Sunset Magazine May 2010)

1 c. orzo pasta
3 T. each olive oil and red wine vinegar
1 tsp. fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/4 t. fresh ground pepper
1 qt. lightly packed baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1/4 c. slivered sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
12 pitted kalamata olives, sliced

Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper and reserve.

Drain pasta, rinse with water until cool and drain again. Add to bowl with dressing and gently mix in spinach, tomatoes, and olives to combine. Add more salt, if desired.

(Photo credit: Sunset Magazine, May 2010 issue)

~LilSis

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