Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

I'm excited to share this recipe with all of my readers, and the Smitten By readers as well!  I will be guest posting a couple of times a month on Smitten By for my friend Kallie.  Take a few minutes and check out her blog.  She is amazing!  Kallie has made it her goal to find ways to empower women of all ages, no matter where you may be in life.

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.
Mediterranean Orzo Salad
Serves 4
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.

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