Chilled Orzo Salad is the ideal companion to grilled entrees. The crispness of the vegetables combined with the chilled, hearty orzo perfectly compliment the meal.
One of my favorite things about this recipe is how bright and beautiful all the colors are in it. My other favorite thing…it is so simple! I made this in the morning and just let all the flavors marry together as the day progressed and all I had to do when dinner time rolled around was give it another stir and place it on the dinner table. In fact, we had leftovers, so we ate the rest the following evening with our burgers and it tasted just as fresh and delightful as it did on the first day!
Now that’s my kind of side dish! The longest part of this salad is waiting for the water to boil and for the pasta to cook, which is actually a blessing because then you have all the other ingredients chopped, prepped, cleaned up and ready to go. Which is awesome because that leaves you more time to get beautified for your Memorial Day gathering instead of slaving away in the kitchen.
A word to the wise- the recipe calls for 1/2-3/4 cup of salad dressing. I started with 1/2 cup (because you can always add more, but can’t ever take back) and it was the perfect amount for us. If you like your salads a bit more saucier, taste it at the 1/2 cup mark and add more dressing as needed. You might need to add a bit more dressing the next day if you still have leftovers.
- 3 cups orzo cooked
- ½ cup baby spinach, julienned
- 1 large roma tomato, diced
- ¾ cup black olives, halved
- 3 TBS capers, drained
- ¼ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- ½-3/4 cup Italian Salad dressing
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Prepare orzo according to the box’s directions. While the orzo is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Combine all ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Toss gently to evenly coat.
- Keep refrigerated until needed.