I happened to be in the grocery store a few weeks ago when my mom texted me a Spinach and Orzo Salad Recipe that they were giving away at her local market. She followed up by saying she had sampled it at the store and that it was delicious. I was wandering aimlessly and mindlessly picking up my regular fare that would simply get us through the weekend in Northwest Connecticut. When I saw the recipe pop up I figured why not try something new? After all, I had all the ingredients right there at my disposal. I like this recipe because the spinach is hearty enough to get dressed and last in the refrigerator for a few days. This dish would be perfect to make and take to a pot luck, or to serve at luncheon alongside a bowl of soup. It is the ideal side for a piece of grilled or broiled steak/chicken/fish. As a matter of fact, I made it for the Mr and I last Sunday with broiled grass-fed steak and brought it out again as lunch with soup on Tuesday for the BHG photo shoot crew. The fact that I served it to guests (and they liked it!) two days later says something about this salad’s longevity in the fridge.Spinach and Orzo Salad Recipe: The first time I make a new recipe I don’t ever want to mess with the list of ingredients or method too much. I always want a baseline for what I did or didn’t like about the recipe. I followed the directions and I added 1 cup of dressing – which I realized afterwards was going to be far too much. I didn’t have more spinach in the fridge to lessen the ratio of dressing to leaves. In a pinch I added baby kale, more celery and tomato. I liked the ingredients in this recipe a lot, but do yourself a favor and half the amount of dressing to start and add more if you find it is needed.What you need from the market:
1 package Baby Spinach
2-3 Celery Heart stalks, sliced
1 cup carrots, sliced or matchstick – I always have a package of organic baby carrots on hand, which are easy to slice and add to any dish or appetizer plate.
10-12 Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
3 cups cooked Orzo (about 1-1/2 cups uncooked) I love Delallo Organic Whole Wheat #65 Orzo
3/4 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Red Onion, finely chopped
3 teaspoons dried Basil – Dried herbs are a lot more intense than fresh. I used closer to a cup of fresh basil (added to taste) that I cut chiffonade-style.
1-1/4 cup Garlic, Asiago, Caesar or House Vinaigrette – I used 1/2 cup of Caesar dressing, and found that it was plenty.
Salt and Pepper to tasteMethod:
Cook orzo according to package directions. Do not overcook.
Drain and rinse orzo with cold water. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
Add all ingredients to orzo, except spinach. Blend well.
Add the dressing.
Toss in spinach until the leaves are well-coated with dressing.