Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Recipe number two is an orzo salad. Orzo is one of those foods that we just don’t eat enough of. Sure, most anything you make with orzo can be made with another type of pasta, but there’s something seemingly different about it compared to a cavatappi, ditalini, casarecce, or other fun shape. It’s probably all in my head and you probably now think I’m crazy, but whatever. Mediterranean orzo sounds so much prettier flowing from the mouth than Mediterranean capunti. Maybe you disagree. I don’t care. =P
This recipe appealed to me (and hopefully to her) because of the inclusion of sun dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, a citrus dressing, and of course the orzo, but it was overall a different type of ingredient list than what I had planned for her other meals. Turns out she’s not a fan of kalamata (substitutes to the rescue!) and I decided on cherry tomatoes instead of sun-dried, since cherry were far more affordable.
The smell of the citrus dressing mixed with everything else made me want to gobble up every last bit of the salad, and I don’t even like olives and tomatoes! I let The Fellow™ have a taste and his reaction was, “Whoa, that’s different,” followed by a short pause and, “I mean good different.” I guess this gets his seal of approval?
Regardless, I cooked the pasta just a hair shy of al dente, as I read online that pasta doesn’t freeze all that great unless you cook it harder than you generally prefer. I guess it mushes up a little upon thawing? So here’s to hoping she’s not eating rocks when this one comes out of the freezer!
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Source: ezrapoundcake.com [Mediterranean Orzo Salad]
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 cup orzo
1/4 cup pitted, sliced Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1) To toast the pine nuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place pine nuts on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes.
2) Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and let cool.
3) In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
4) Transfer the orzo to a large bowl. Stir in the olives, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Pour in the citrus dressing, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.