When the weather changes from frigid to warm and the sun begins to warm everything up, I start craving salads. It must be the fresh ingredients, the tang in the dressings, or the light meals they provide. Pasta salads are a great way to transition from heavy winter cooking to light spring and summer fare. If you've never cooked with orzo you are in for a treat. Orzo is a tiny rice like pasta that cooks up fast and is the perfect addition to soups and salads alike.
1 cup uncooked orzo
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/4 tsp salt, plus additional to taste
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp coarsely chopped sun dried tomatoes
3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
Cook the orzo following package directions. Drain and let it cool. (It will become about 3 cups cooked orzo.)
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, lemon juice, basil 1/4 tsp salt, and the pepper.
Transfer the orzo to a large bowl. Stir in the feta, sun dried tomatoes, and pine nuts. Pour the citrus dressing over the orzo and toss to combine. Add more salt if needed.
*Add some cubed grilled chicken to make this delightful salad into a full meal.