As spring is here I am making a new “salad” every weekend. When our family goes out for a weekly “family” hike I try to pack a lunch for us to have after we are back to the truck. Getting out of the typical rut of sandwiches I have been trying out new ideas of late….so expect more of these salads in the future.
I came across a recipe in the May 2010 issue of Sunset Magazine that I tweaked a bit to my taste. I had the dressing mixed up by the time the orzo was done cooking, a quick toss and into the refrigerator to meld. As a bonus the recipe is both vegan and vegetarian friendly!
I used my favorite sun-dried tomatoes that I find at Costco in large jars. They are seasoned with herbs so add a nice touch to whatever dish they are used in (though are quite strong on their own!)
1 cup orzo pasta
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves (half of a 9-ounce bag)
1/4 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 4.25-ounce can chopped olives
In a medium pot cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water, let drain.
Meanwhile in a large bowl whisk the vinegar, oil, herbs, pepper and salt together. Chop up the tomatoes, add in and include any oil. Drain the olives and whisk in.
Add the cooked orzo and stir to dress, add in the spinach and mix until combined.
Let chill for a couple of hours for the flavors to combine.
– According to the original recipe this salad is fine at room temperature for 2 hours so it carries well.
Serves 3 to 4.