Monday, July 12, 2010

Sharon's Mediterranean Orzo Salad

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Here's a tasty pasta salad from cousin Sharon Brooks in Irvine.  She made this salad for her annual 4th of July brunch, and it was a bit hit.  She added olives to the original recipe which gave it additional color and saltiness.  This salad tastes even better the second day as the flavors blend together.  As a variation you can add pine nuts, cooked chicken, red onions or capers. It's a great dish for potlucks.    

1 box (16 oz) orzo pasta
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 pkg (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
8 oz. spinach (or more depending on taste)
1 bottle (12 oz) Girard's Champagne Vinaigrette

Cook the orzo according to package directions, drain and rinse with cool water.  Quarter the grape tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Add the feta.  Remove stems from spinach and chop leaves into chiffonade ribbons.  Toss everything together with the vinaigrette (you may want to use the entire bottle as the orzo absorbs the dressing). Add sliced Mediterranean olives as a colorful contrast and added salt (optional).

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