Monday, May 4, 2009

Spinach & Feta Orzo Salad

My sister bought this ginormous bag of baby spinach the other day and we didn't think we could finish it by just making salads alone... so she made this orzo pasta salad. Yum! Later we added some roasted chicken for some protein but it would be great with grilled shrimp too. This salad is really versatile with mix ins, so don't be afraid to add something new, most likely it will turn out to be delicious. 

Spinach and Feta Orzo Salad
Yields: 4 - 6 servings
Slightly adapted from here and here

1 lb. fresh spinach, washed and dried
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 medium tomatoes, diced 
zest of 2 lemons
lemon juice, to taste
1 1/2 cups of orzo
24 basil leaves, torn
1 - 2 tbsn. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Pile the spinach leave on top of each other and julienne them into thin strips. Prepare the basil leaves the same way. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, lemon zest and chopped tomatoes. Cook the orzo according to the directions on the box. Once the pasta is drained, pour the hot pasta into the bowl with the spinach to allow it to wilt and the tomatoes to warm. Drizzle the olive oil on top and add the basil, salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Toss and eat immediately or refrigerate and eat later (it can be eaten warm or cold).

*** This would also be great with pine nuts, red onion, olives or whatever!


  1. This looks absolutely perfect for summer!

  2. can this be made a day ahead?

  3. feta is also protein. ;)

  4. Just tried an amazing cinnamon version of this salad: you melt about 2-3 TBSP of butter in a small saucepan or frying pan and let it simmer until clarified and just turning brownish. Be careful not to burn it! Remove from the heat and add 1 TSP (or more - to taste - I'd go for more now that I've tasted the amazing result!) - stir well, add to the cooked orzo and mix well. Then add the spinach, tomatoes, feta and other herb of choice. I used parsley but would have rather used basil like you, or even cilantro. No lemon! Add salt and pepper to taste. The cinnamon mixed with cooked butter gives an incredible aroma I would see would go very nicely with chopped pecans and even dried cranberries. I've had this salad both warm and cold and the warm version is way better since the cinnamon flavour fades as the salad gets cold. Enjoy!