Tri-Colored Orzo Salad

Tri Colored Orzo SaladI had a bunch of people over for an End of Season baseball party the other night and when trying to decide what to have besides the various pizzas, I landed on a favorite salad that I make whenever I have BBQ or just need an easy, tasty, goes with anything side dish.

This recipe comes from courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis. Every time I make it people ask for the recipe.

The key is to use good quality olive oil. Try this tonight with anything grilled and any left-overs are great as a light lunch the next day!

Tri-Colored Orzo Salad
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time: 15 min
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula or Spring Mix (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese or Queso Fresco)
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 to 10 minutes (or until tender but still firm to the bite). Drain the pasta and spread it out onto a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread it out again, and set aside to cool.

Once the orzo is cool, transfer it into to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve with a few whole basil leaves for garnish.

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