Since the weather has been getting nicer here in the midwest, I have been searching for appetizing salad recipes. I could eat salad every day of the week but, unfortunately, that wouldn't go over too well with hubby! There was a salad recipe that I had been served by a friend in Georgia when we were there to visit last year and yesterday, I emailed her and asked if she could please find it and share it with me. I made it for lunch today and it is as delicious as I remembered!
I love the little grape tomatoes. In a couple of months I hope to have my own fresh tomatoes growing in the garden.
My grocer also sells fresh living basil with the roots still on. What a heavenly scent!
If you are craving salads like I am, I hope you give this one a try - it is fresh as springtime!
The original recipes does not call for Mediterranean Salt salt but I think it adds a wonderful flavor. I prefer Sarah's Sea Salt.
Orzo Salad with Spinach, Tomatoes and Basil
1 lb of fresh spinach (baby or regular), washed, dried and stems removed
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
The zest of 2 lemons
1 and 1/2 cups orzo, cooked according to package directions and drained
24 basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt (or Mediterranean Sea Salt with Lavender) & Pepper
Pile the spinach leaves into stacks and slice thinly into julienne strips. Prepare the basil leaves the same way. Halve the tomatoes and zest the lemons.
Cook the orzo.
Place the julienned spinach into a medium bowl, add the halved tomatoes and lemon zest. After the orzo is drained, add the hot, cooked orzo to the same bowl. The heat of the orzo will wilt the spinach and warm the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil, add the sliced basil, season with salt and pepper to taste, toss and either serve immedaitely or refrigerate for later.
It tastes best served immedately but is still wonderful cold. This salad would also be wonderful with toasted pine nuts!