In need of an awesome side dish to serve for the 4th? This is the perfect pasta salad for any barbecue or party. I’ve been making it for years and am continually asked for the recipe. It’s barely even a recipe, since all you have to do is cook some pasta and stir in a few other ingredients. It’s more refined than your classic pasta salad, and is equally good served chilled or slightly warmed (so it’s great even if it’s been sitting on a table outside for an hour). The dried cherries offer a refreshing burst of flavor that is complemented nicely by the spicy arugula and salty cheese. You can find a bowl of this in our refrigerator practically all summer long.
We are down in the south celebrating the 4th with family and taking a little time to relax. I love NYC, but it’s nice not to get looked at sideways every time I let a “y’all” slip (usually after too many Makers Mark and ginger ales). It’s also entirely possible that I might have to buy a whole new wardrobe when we get back because all we seem to do down here is eat. Not to mention I’ve probably drunk my weight in sweet tea. Does everyone indulge like this when they go back to home?? Dangerous stuff.
Wishing each of you a safe and wonderful 4th of July!!
Tri-Color Orzo Salad
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese)
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook orzo according to package directions.
- Strain cooked orzo, and pour into a large bowl.
- Mix in 3 T of olive oil and allow orzo to cool.
- Once orzo is cool, stir in all remaining ingredients.