For SL’s dinner party, we played it simple – serving the Chicken Sauvignon Blanc with a flavorful tri-color orzo salad from Giada de Laurentiis. With all the hustle and bustle going on in SL’s kitchen (I was trying to save a banana pudding dessert that kinda went the wrong way), I didn’t take the multitude of pics I normally do with a recipe. However, as SL and crew will attest, once it was plated, I flew out to the dining room to get the beauty shot.
This recipe will be good year round and while it is simple, the flavor is outstanding. I think that the next time I make this, I might have to sub in my summer staple – my mojo de ajo for the olive oil for a bit of garlic flavor. This will be one of your go-to summer salads this year – just don’t tell them how easy it is to make.
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
- 2 cups fresh arugula
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 12 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a small non-stick skillet, toast the pine nuts. Set aside.
- Over high heat, begin boiling your water for the orzo. Add salt.
- When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring every so often.
- Drain the pasta and put the drained pasta on a large cookie sheet.
- Toss the pasta with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and spread out to cool.
- Once the orzo is cool, add the cooled pasta to a large serving platter or bowl.
- Add the remaining olive oil, arugula, feta cheese, dried cherries, toasted pine nuts, basil, lemon juice and zest and the salt and pepper.
- Toss gently to combine.
Slightly adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
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