If you've never had, or cooked with orzo pasta, you're missing out! Orzo means "barley" in italian and is a short-cut pasta in the shape of long grain rice. Orzo can be used in soups, salads, pilaf, risotto, even casserole dishes. It's versatility makes it a regular in my pantry. And this dish is just as versatile with the endless options of ingredients that can be added to it. Cucumbers, olives, onions, artichoke hearts, dill....the list goes on. Served either hot or cold, it pairs well with fish or chicken, or makes a refreshing, light main dish on its own. The mix of flavors and textures will have your mouth begging for more.
2 cups orzo pasta, uncooked
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
6 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 cup feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup italian dressing
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
juice from half a lemon
- Cook orzo pasta according to package directions. Then strain, toss with olive oil and set aside.
- Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet and saute garlic over medium heat until softened. Add orzo pasta and spinach. Toss until spinach is just wilted. Remove from heat.
- Fold in feta, basil, tomatoes, almonds, italian dressing, balsamic vinegar and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Transfer to serving dish. Can be served hot or cold.