Orzo Pasta Salad as a Main Course


Fox 40 News Orzo Pasta Salad

I was on a local news channel today, I think that if you click on the above link it will link you to my segment.  I have trouble with all things tech related!

So I ramped up this side salad and made it a main course salad by adding two simple ingredients; shrimp (I sauteed mine, but I think that grilled would be really tasty) and tender baby spinach. 

Not only was it delicious, but also very beautiful.

Now you can enjoy this delicious salad as a main course for those hot summer nights.

Orzo salad with Feta and Cherry Tomatoes

1/2 pound orzo (rice-shaped pasta, about 1 cup)
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 (or so) cup packed fresh basil
6 ounces cherry tomatoes (about 1/2 pint) halved and lightly seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 pound feta cheese (use the flavored basil/tomato feta)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
salt and pepper to taste

1 pound grilled or sauteed shrimp, cleaned, tail off
5 cups baby spinach leaves

Fill a 4-quart pasta pot three fourths full with salted water and brint to a boil for the orzo.  I flavor the water a little bit with some chicken bullion, it adds flavor to the orzo.  Once the orzo has cooked to al dente, drain in a calendar and rinse with cold water until the pasta has cooled down.  Place in a large bowl.

In a small heavy skillet toast pine nuts, stirring frequently, until golden.  Do not walk away…..they brown easily.  Transfer nuts to parchment or wax paper and let cool.

Mince garlic and chop basil.  Halve or quarter the tomatoes and coarsely crumble feta.  In a small bowl whisk together garlic, basil, vinegar, oil and sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  In the large bowl with the cooled orzo add the, tomatoes and feta and gently toss together.  Gently add half of the vinaigrette to the pasta mixture, adding more if necessary.  Garnish the pasta mixture with the toasted pine nuts and basil leaves.

Lightly toss the greens in about 3 tablespoons or so of the vinaigrette.  Toss in the orzo mixture and top with the grilled or sauteed shrimp.  Serves 4 as a main dish.


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