• Ee0b7a2d29588cdae82939487ff7cc8d

Orzo Salad With Spinach Pesto, Olives & Feta

This salad keeps getting better the longer it sits, if you can manage to leave it alone. I recommend making it the day before your gathering and bringing it still cold from the fridge. It will keep on a table at room temperature for several hours. It's one of those dishes that I nearly choke myself on because I can't keep from taking bites that are way too big.

Prep
Cook
Serves 8people
Ingredients
For the Pesto:
6-8
oz baby spinach
1/3
cup walnuts
1/3
cup lightly packed grated Parmesan cheese
1-2
cloves garlic, depending on your love of raw garlic (removing the germ makes it less bitter)
Juice 1/2 medium lemon
1/2
tsp kosher salt
3-4
tbsp olive oil
For the Salad:
1
lb dried orzo pasta
6
oz feta cheese, crumbled
2/3
cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1
medium shallot, small dice
Juice 1/2 medium lemon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Directions
1.
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, make the pesto.
2.
Make the pesto: Layer about half the spinach into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Scatter the walnuts, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and salt over the spinach. Pulse until the ingredients are incorporated and the spinach is coarsely chopped. Add the remaining spinach. With the motor running, stream 3 tablespoons of the olive oil into the spinach until it is saucy. Scrape down the sides and give it a taste. Add more salt or lemon juice to taste. If you'd like a richer pesto, stream in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
3.
Make the salad: Add the orzo to the water and boil until al dente, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Immediately add the pesto, feta, olives, shallots, and lemon juice and stir gently to combine while the pasta is still warm. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.
4.
Let the salad cool and then refrigerate for up to a week. The flavors improve each day.
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