Orzo is Italian and is known as "Italian Rice." However, it is not rice. In the United States it can be found in the pasta section at the grocery store. It is small, oval shaped pasta about the size of a pine nut. Cooked and mixed with a multitude of different ingredients, it is a perfect light and fresh pasta for main courses or side dishes at luncheons, brunches or dinners. Other occasions orzo can be served at may include, but are not limited to: bridal and baby showers, office parties, bunko and bridge luncheons or holiday and birthday parties.
- Gather the main ingredients.
- 1 box Orzo
- 1 small red onion (chopped)
- 1 small jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (julienne cut) or fresh tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 package tomato/basil feta cheese
- ½ C pine nuts (toasted)
- 1 package baby spinach
- 10–12 fresh basil leaves (chopped)
- Girard's Champagne Dressing (Feel free to use the reduced-fat version.)
- Cook orzo according to the box directions. Rinse with cold water and let drain for about ½ hour. Rinse again and drain completely. Fluff with a fork.
- Put orzo in a zip lock bag with 1 cup of the dressing. Let the bag sit for several hours. This can sit overnight. The pasta will soak up the liquid.
- Mix orzo with the remaining ingredients just before serving. You can put more dressing on the salad and mix.
- This becomes more of a complete meal when you add grilled chicken, grilled salmon, scallops or shrimp.
- Different cheeses can be substituted such as parmesan, gorgonzola or goat. Keep in mind, the softer the cheese, the creamier the texture will be.
- You can add olives or artichoke hearts to this.
- Corn, chopped bell peppers, carrot shavings and zucchini slices are also good in this salad as additions.