Fresh Summer Orzo Salad

Friday, April 01, 2011

I'm absolutely crazy about any recipe that is easy to prepare and feeds a crowd. And it has to taste great, that's sort of important too! A few years back, I was lucky enough to catch an episode of Everyday Italian and Giada happened to be making this Tri-Colore Orzo Salad.  Since that day, it has become my go-to recipe for baby and bridal showers, summer dinners and picnics. I love that you can make this fresh and healthy salad without breaking out the cutting board and knife, literally you don't have to do any chopping. Here's the recipe:

Tri-Colore Orzo Salad (recipe by Giada De Laurentiis)
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
  • 2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (Giada uses cherries but I always use cranberries)
  • 12 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.
Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serves 4 to 6.

1. If you would like to make this a more substantial dish, add roasted chicken or shrimp to the recipe. 
2. I usually make this the night before my event. Don't add the basil and arugula until the day of your party. Also, I generally have to add more lemon juice the morning of the party to add brightness.

PS: Do you love my bowl from Anthropologie, it's no longer available online but I just bought this in the store a couple weeks ago. Also, here is the link to the original recipe.


brit.brat said...

i have GOT to try yours! i make one super duper similar..except with tons of chopped spinach..and grilled chicken..and a raspberry vinaigrette..

arugula must make it off the charts!

Carolyn said...

Yum. I'm def. making this tonight! Did you get my e-mail about design time? :)

Kimberly Moore said...

This looks delicious and so healthy!! Love the Anthro bowl too. I just found your blog and I'm hooked! Talk about talent. Your party planning skills are amazing. I just gave a little shout out to you on my blog!

ALR said...

This salad looks amazing. I tried to buy the bowls online some time ago but they were already unavailable. I wish I lived close to a store.