Sunday, June 10, 2012

Orzo with Arugula, Dried Cherries and Ricotta

This box of arugula is never ending!  It’s like a salad from eatZi’s – it looks so small and compact in the container and then you take the lid off and it expands into mass quantities.  Either that or the arugula is regenerating in my ‘frig at night while I sleep.  Maybe David is just playing a trick on me and refills it when I’m not looking…

I’m a big fan of orzo dishes – remember the orzo with roasted vegetables?  This is a great summer alternative – it’s light and cool with the sweet of the dried cherries, the nuttiness and crunch of the pine nuts and the creaminess of the cheese.  I adapted this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.  Double it if serving as more than a side dish, taking to a summer picnic and serving a crowd, and add in fresh basil, if desired. 

Orzo with Arugula, Dried Cherries and Ricotta
1.      ½ pound orzo pasta 
2.      1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3.      1 cup fresh arugula, cut into bite size pieces
4.      ½ cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese)
5.      ¼ cup dried cherries
6.      ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
7.      1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
8.      1 teaspoon salt
9.      ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, place in a bowl and stir in 1 ½ T of olive oil then and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet to cool.

Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients (#3-9) and stir to combine.

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