Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tri-Colore Orzo

To go along with my "fancy" Jack Cheese Burgers I wanted something lighter than potato salad. This was perfect. I loved the combination of the slightly chewy orzo pasta with the freshness of the baby spinach and tartness from the cranberries. Add some feta cheese and toasted pine nuts and yum. The olive oil dressing is great because it doesn't cover up the flavors of all the other ingredients. To my surprise my husband declared this one of his new favorite salads. Go figure.
Tri- Colore Orzo
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups baby spinach (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
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 until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.
Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve
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