Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Orzo Salad

This salad is delicious and refreshing ~ it's particularly great on a warm summer day. Served warm or cold, you can feel great about eating this one anytime of year! Red peppers, mushrooms and spinach abound in a mouthwatering combination of chicken stock and lemon infused orzo (short pasta that looks very similar to rice) and feta cheese. This salad is wonderful on its own, but it's also a great compliment to a sandwich or a toasted, crusty baguette rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil.

Juice of 1 large lemon
3 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine (I prefer pino grigio)
2 cups orzo
1 small package of button mushrooms, quartered
8-10 oz. fresh spinach
1/2 diced sweet red pepper
1/4 cup feta cheese
salt, pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil


Bring chicken stock, lemon juice (reserve 1 tbsp. for later) and white wine to a rolling boil. Add orzo and a good amount of salt then cook for 6-8 minutes or until orzo is al dente. Drain orzo but do not rinse. Using the same pot, add olive oil and turn heat to medium-high. Saute peppers and mushrooms 2-3 minutes until golden. Next, add spinach and cook 1-2 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Pour in reserved tbsp. of lemon juice and stir. Turn off the heat and stir in the orzo and feta. Allow mixture to cool slightly. This dish is best served at room temperature.

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