Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Orzo with Spinach and Tomatoes

Orzo with Spinach and Tomatoes | by Life Tastes Good is a delicious pasta salad you can serve hot or cold. I love this dish because it tastes so good, but it's also very versatile! #PastaSalad #Italian
Orzo with Spinach and Tomatoes is a delicious pasta salad you can serve hot or cold. I love this dish because it tastes so good, but it's also very versatile!

Packed full of healthy stuff like spinach, tomatoes, and pine nuts, you'll feel good about serving this as a meatless meal, but if you want a little extra protein, don't be afraid to toss in some cooked chicken or shrimp.

Because this tastes great cold too, it is the perfect salad to take to a potluck. It is very easy to make and the balsamic dressing is delicious! It is sweet and tangy and the fresh herbs put it over the top!! This salad will get gobbled up quickly and everyone will be asking you for the recipe for sure!! The only bad thing about everyone loving your dish at the potluck is...no leftovers!

I should warn you it can be sort of dangerous to have in the fridge. It's hard to stop eating this salad!! I try to behave and spoon out just a little for a light lunch, but then I keep going back for more! I justify it by telling myself "it is a salad..." I really need more willpower! If you have any suggestions on what I can do to work on that, by all means, please let me know!


Orzo with Spinach and Tomatoes | by Life Tastes Good is a delicious pasta salad you can serve hot or cold. I love this dish because it tastes so good, but it's also very versatile! #PastaSalad #Italian

Orzo with Spinach and Tomatoes

Life Tastes Good
Published 05/06/2014
Orzo with Spinach and Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
  • 1 (5 ounce) bag of fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 14 ounces of water
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base such as Better Than Bouillon
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (or dried if you prefer)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a 2.5 quart pan. Add 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic and saute until fragrant - about 30 seconds. Add spinach and a pinch of salt and cook until spinach wilts. Remove from pan to a plate and set aside.
  2. In the same 2.5 quart pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add 1 cup orzo. Cook the orzo until lightly toasted and add 14 ounces of water and 1 teaspoon chicken base. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to mid-low. Simmer for 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
  3. While the orzo is cooking, combine 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
  4. When the orzo is ready, combine the pasta with balsamic dressing and then add the spinach and tomatoes. Top with 1/4 cup pine nuts, 1 tablespoon capers, and 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese. Refrigerate until ready to use. Enjoy!
Tip: If you are making this up a day ahead I suggest combining the orzo with the dressing and refrigerate. Add the rest of the ingredients on the day you plan to serve.

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 mins.
Cook time: 15 mins.
Total time: 25 mins.

Tags: Pasta Salad, Orzo, Vegetables, Parmesan Cheese, Healthy, Side, Main, Potluck

recipe inspired by allrecipes.com Chicken Florentine Salad with Orzo Pasta

15 comments:

  1. Love the combination of flavors and textures in this! Looks incredible and perfect for a barbecue!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Jen! I'm pretty sure this is my husband's new fave - he is crazy about the balsamic dressing in this!

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  2. This looks like a great spring or summer dish! Love that it can be served cold!

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  3. This looks awesome. I like to make these kinds of dishes for lunches. Make up a big batch and portion it out. could even add chicken to tofu to make it a full meal. Yum!

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    Replies
    1. This is perfect to have on hand for lunch and yes, I agree, most anything can be added to make it a meal. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Yummy! This looks so good. I just bought some southwest flavored orzo. I'm going to try it with that I think.

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    Replies
    1. Southwest flavored? I've never seen that!! That would go great with my Spicy Chicken Pasta Orzo recipe! Let me know how it turns out Mary Ellen! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. This looks like my kind of recipe! Love the flavors!

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  6. I keep seeing orzo at the store, now I have a recipe for it! I bet this would be good with grilled salmon!

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    Replies
    1. Definitely! You can add just about any protein to it. Orzo is like one of my favorite things ever! I always have it on hand!

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  7. Well, considering I was the one eating a BONBON at 3:30 am or whatever ungodly hour it was the other day, I'm in no position on giving advice about willpower. LOL We love orzo and Grumpy really loves Spinach. I'll have to try this out soon!

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    Replies
    1. LOL Shelby! Willpower?? What's that?? Right? hahaha I hope y'all like it like we do! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. This looks delicious. I'm going to have to make it soon.

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