Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spinach Orzo Pasta Salad

Spinach and Orzo Pasta Salad
adapted from Simply Recipes
4 ounces orzo pasta
2 Tbsp pine nuts
3 ounces feta cheese, roughly crumbled
1 ounce Kalamata Greek olives pitted, roughly chopped, about 1/4 cup (about 10 olives)
2 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped red onion (about half a red onion)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar (can substitute white vinegar or lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch dried basil
Pinch dried tarragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the orzo pasta in salted water acording to package directions.  Drain. Rinse with cold water to cool quickly.  Toast the pine nuts.  Take half of the spinach and purée it in a food processor or blender, adding one tablespoon of the olive oil. Roughly chop the other half of the spinach. In a large serving bowl mix the spinach purée olive oil mixture in with cooked orzo until the pasta is well coated with the purée. Then gently mix in the remaining spinach, the red onion, feta cheese, pine nuts, and the Kalamata olives.

In a small jar, combine the remaining olive oil (1 Tbsp), balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, mustard, dried basil, and dried tarragon. Put a lid on the jar and shake to combine.  Pour over orzo spinach mixture and gently mix in until well incorporated.

Chill for at least an hour before serving.

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