This is one of our favorite summer salads, I first found it on Food Network from Giada De Laurentiis.This is a fresh, light, tasty salad. It is an easy make ahead dish and keeps really well in the fridge for a few days. It’s a quick dish to make, the longest part is waiting for the pasta to cool off slightly. Some like this dish on the warm side (not hot!) and on the cool side. So if you don’t want to wait, you can make this while it’s warm.
Great for a summer potluck or a picnic at your favorite water-side place. It’s also fantastic for a quick weeknight dinner.
Quick Note: the recipe below makes a very large amount of this stuff, I would make the full recipe if I were feeding 4+ people (it’s normally perfect for about 6 with no leftovers). For just the 2 of us, I cut the recipe in half and we have enough leftovers for another full dinner side.
- 1 lb orzo pasta
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups baby spinach (about 3 oz)
- 3/4 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 12 fresh torn basil leaves
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (sunflower seeds, cashews, and macadamia nuts work well as well)
- 3 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heats.
- Add the pasta. Cook until tender but still firm to the bite (about 8-10 minutes).
- Drain pasta and set aside to cool.
- Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Add the remaining ingredients.
- Toss gently to combine.