Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ultimate Orzo Salad

Do you ever have one of those crazy busy weeks? I am sure that most of you do. This last week was all positive but super busy. From work getting super busy, to attending a baby shower, celebrating Father’s Day and entertaining friends in between, the week just flew by.

On Saturday, I attended a beautiful baby shower. There were about thirty attendees who celebrated this very happy occasion. It was held at a lovely home outside in the backyard and the weather was just splendid – not too hot or too cold, just perfect. I was asked to bring my famous Ultimate Orzo Salad by the hostess and I was quite happy to oblige.

This Orzo Salad is the one “go to” salad that is most requested for large events, parties and celebrations of all kinds. It is such a simple salad yet the combination of flavors will often bring folks back for seconds. I highly encourage you to make the dressing a day prior, so the flavors combine and develop.

At the shower, we had such a wonderful assortment of summer salad with vibrant color, flavors and textures. The mother-to-be is not a big fan of the traditional baby shower games, so those were kept to a minimum. Instead, one of her friends shared a brilliant and unique idea with everyone.

It was an interactive activity that everyone could participate in. When I walked in, there were ironing boards set up with irons – I thought it was a bit strange that you would not put away your iron for a shower. I continued on my way to the backyard, but while eating our lunch, soon realized the purpose for the irons. She purchased 30 white onesies from Target and provided cute decals that were specific to the personalities of the parents to be. We were able to, at our leisure, personalize our very own onesie and when completed hang on the clothes line with a clothes pin. What a super cleaver idea!

Ultimate Orzo Salad

1 pound box of Orzo pasta
¼ C. Olive oil
2 C. Red cherry tomatoes or assorted colors
¾ C. Toasted pine nuts
2 C. thinly sliced radicchio
1 Large red onion – small dice
1 ½ C. Basil leaves – chiffanade
1 C. Crumbled feta cheese


1 C. Red wine vinegar
1 C. Vegetable oil
2 t. Garlic powder
1 T. Salt
Fresh ground pepper

Cook the orzo pasta according to the package. Best done al dente. Rinse and add about ¼ cup olive oil to coat pasta after it is cooled, into large bowl.

For the dressing - in a plastic airtight container, add red wine vinegar, vegetable oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Shake well and refrigerate.


In a large bowl, add cooled pasta. Add tomatoes, pine nuts, radicchio, red onion, basil leaves, feta cheese and toss quickly. Shake the dressing before adding. Add all of the dressing and toss well. Add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Sounds like you've been a busy bee, Lisa. It's getting that way for me, too, but like you, I can't complain. It's all good stuff coming up.

    I can see why your friends requested this salad. It looks and sounds refreshing and since we're into summer now, I can't imagine anything better.

    Enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. Busy, I'm always busy. I'm always swamped with work and it never ends...

    I'm a big fan of orzo salad, like mine with tuna and haricots verts. I should give yours a try. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I love orzo and this colorful salad! sounds delcious! intrigued by the yellow tomatoes never had them or saw them here, will be looking for them now! thanks

  4. Simply gorgeous...and a summer salad I could eat absolutely every day!

  5. Wow... what a colorful salad... and perfect when busy!

  6. Beautiful color and flavor. I can see why this salad is popular. :)

  7. What a perfectly beautiful summer salad. I'll definitely be making this when the warmer months return to Australia.


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