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Spinach Orzo Salad with Lemon Dressing

Recipe Chef Owen May and Dr. Michelle May

We love to try to recreate delicious restaurant meals! This Spinach Orzo Salad with Lemon Dressing is our version of a great salad we had at Macaroni Grill years ago.

Chef Notes

A hand blender (also called an immersion blender) is one of my favorite kitchen tools! You can quickly emulsify dressings, whip cream, or blend soups.

How to Chiffonade Basil: Chiffonade (a term meaning “rags”) is a simple way to cut strips of spinach, basil, or other flat leaf herbs. Just stack 4-5 flat leaves, roll them tightly, and cut 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices from the roll.

Health Notes

Everyone knows that spinach is loaded with iron. Did you know that citrus (like this lemon dressing) makes the iron more absorbable?

Ingredients

Lemon Dressing

½ cup canola oil (may substitute olive oil)
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons of minced fresh basil leaves (we also make this dressing with parsley, cilantro, or other fresh herbs)
Ground pepper and coarse salt to taste

Spinach Salad

6 cups of fresh spinach leaves, chiffonade
½ cup of fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1 cup of dry orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions and cooled
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
¼ cup of sliced black olives
2 tablespoons of toasted pinenuts
Optional: 2 tablespoons of sun dried tomatoes, chopped

Directions

  1. Combine dressing ingredients using a hand blender and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.
  2. Toss all salad ingredients with the lemon dressing right before serving.

  • Spinach Orzo Salad with Lemon Dressing
  • Make dressing with a hand blender
  • How to chiffonade basil - 1
  • Make dressing with a hand blender
  • How to chiffonade basil - 2
  • How to chiffonade basil - 3