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)


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5 Comments so far

  1. Posted by BigSis

    June 1, 20108:11 am

    That looks really really good! It reminds me a little of the rice and artichoke salad I used to get at Empire Baking Company here. I bet artichokes would be good in this too!

  2. Posted by kelsey

    January 7, 20131:27 pm

    think i could use sun dried red pepper instead of tomato? hubs has an allergy but would love the flavor of this salad!

  3. Posted by LilSis

    January 8, 201311:53 am

    You could definitely modify this salad and leave out the tomato. I think it’s one of those recipes that you could modify to taste and it’ll still turn out great! Red pepper sounds like a good choice.

  4. Posted by Patricia

    June 8, 201310:07 am

    I made this for a BBQ and it was great!!! Everyone devoured it! Thanks for posting a great summer outdoor friendly pasta salad, it was wonderful.

  5. Posted by Caroline

    August 10, 20132:57 pm

    Love this salad! It is one of my favorites! I was also wondering where you got the cute containers that they are in! Thanks!

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