From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This lovely salad tastes as good as it looks. I found the recipe for it on Gourmet Live while searching for inspiration and an interesting new summer side. I wanted to share it with you before apples start dropping from trees. The recipe is simple and straightforward and the salad is a perfect accompaniment to serve with almost anything that comes off the grill. I especially like to serve it with lamb, but I've also found the salad is substantial enough to serve as a standalone lunch or a light supper. Orzo is a rice-shaped pasta that cooks very quickly. Orzo is also the Italian word for barley and that sometimes causes confusion. While barley could be substituted here, cooking times would vary and the salad would have a completely different taste. I prefer the salad made with pasta. It takes about 15 minutes to put this together, but you'll have to wait for the orzo to come to room temperature before it can be served. Unfortunately, the salad does not keep well. The appearance of arugula and radicchio does not improve with age, so if looks are important to you, make no more of this than can be consumed in one sitting. I know those of you who try this salad will love it. It has texture and balanced flavors, and when freshly made it, it is a feast for the eyes. Here's the recipe.
Orzo Salad...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez and Gourmet.live
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 pound orzo
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
3/4 cup (6-oz.) jar marinated roasted bell peppers, drained and chopped
1/4 pound mozzarella, preferably fresh, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups chopped baby arugula leaves (2-1/2 ounces)
1 cup chopped radicchio (2 1/2 ounces)
1) Position a rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Roast pine nuts in a rimmed sheet pan until golden, about 8 minutes.
3) Cook orzo in a 6 to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender, then drain well in a colander.
4) Meanwhile, whisk together lemon juice, oil, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
5) Add hot orzo to dressing and toss. Let orzo come to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
6) Add pine nuts, peppers, mozzarella, arugula, and radicchio and toss well. Season salad with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice, if desired. Yield: 6 servings.
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