Thursday, March 21, 2019

Orzo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Spinach and Feta

Orzo Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Spinach and Feta

My vast experience with cauliflower had been during cafeteria duty.  Somehow, they always managed to serve cauliflower on my day to volunteer.  It seemed odd that they would serve this to lower school kids in a self-serve, hot foods line.  There it was: a whole head of cauliflower with a cheese sauce poured over the top.  Even at age 4x (I’m not sharing), that giant head of cauliflower seemed daunting to try and scoop off a piece and put on a tray.  Can you imagine if you were age 7-10?  Fast forward to this recipe (from Cravings by Chrissy Teigen) shared once again from my friend, Elizabeth.  I am still unsure if I am carving this thing correctly but I end up with florets for roasting and that’s good enough for me.  The salad is really pretty good and must be good for you with cauliflower and spinach.  Try it for a new change of pace this spring or any of these other orzo recipes: Orzo Salad and Orzo with Arugula, Dried Cherries and Ricotta.


For the Salad:

  • 1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets (about 5 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2/3 cup dried cherries
  • 4 cups baby spinach

For the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, toss the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, salt, and pepper. Spread on a large baking sheet and roast until tender and cauliflower is slightly charred, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool, chop into smaller pieces, if you choose, and set aside.

In a pot of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente following the directions on the box. Drain in colander, rinse under cold water, drain well, and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

In a large bowl, make the dressing.  Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt ad pepper.  Add the cooked orzo, roasted cauliflower, red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and dried cherries.  Toss until well coated with the dressing.  Add the spinach and toss one more time.  As needed, season with more salt and pepper. 

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