Orzo and Spinach Salad
Summer is never subtle about it's arrival. It always jumps out of a forgotten corner, on some deceivingly mild Tuesday morning, and throws shorts, skirts, and dresses at my pale legs.
I don't like things that jump out at me. (Still can't be in the same room as a jack-in-the-box, or a bottle of champagne that's about to be uncorked.)
This year, I'm ready...pale, but ready. I'm re-energizing my lethargic-winter self, with fresh, delicious food, and pushing most of my sugary desserts onto willing friends and family. (Always keeping a small amount for myself, of course.)
This free-spirited, happy salad will leave you feeling just as free-spirited and happy. It's loaded with juicy grape tomatoes, salty Kalamata olives, leafy baby spinach (Popeye was onto something), and creamy feta. And unlike some pastas, orzo isn't burdened down by too much starchiness.
If spring came in the form of a salad, this would be it. And spring should work with you, not against you, when it comes to preparing for her dramatic, spotlight-stealing sibling, summer.
adapted loosely from allrecipes
yields about 6-8 servings
16 oz uncooked orzo pasta
10 oz chopped baby spinach
3/4 cup crumbled feta (feel free to use even more!)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives (whole, or sliced in half)
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes (whole, or sliced in half)
1/3 cup virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt (more can be added later, if desired)
Cook the orzo pasta according to directions on package. Drain and rise with cold water. Leave the cool orzo in the colander and allow the water to drain as you prepare the dressing.
In a small mixing bowl, vigorously whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt together until well combined. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate.
Transfer the orzo pasta to a large serving bowl. Add the spinach, feta, olives, tomatoes, and prepared dressing. Toss until everything is evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.