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I like to serve this side room temp or with a slight chill. Back in Michigan with our garden my mom used to make this with rice, olives and spinach from the garden. Well this is my updated version. This makes a wonderful light lunch or a great side dish to a main grilled dish. To me a nice grilled piece of halibut, cod or grouper and this as a side dish is perfect. A nice slice of hearty bread and dinner. The orzo cooks so quick and just a few ingredients and it is done. Besides, change it up, some roasted red peppers if you have them, maybe spinach vs arugula or even feta cheese crumbled. Don't be afraid to add some other flavors to this.
- 4 tomatoes, softball size (medium to large)
- 1 1⁄4 cups orzo pasta, cooked (I like to cook it in vegetable broth, but not necessary)
- 1⁄2 cup sliced olive
- 2 cups arugula
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped fine
- 2 scallions, chopped fine
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Tomato -- Remove the top of the tomato like you would clean a pumpkin. Remove the stem area and then scoop out most of the insides. Now, I also like to take a tiny slice (the size of a quarter) off the bottom just so the tomato will set up without rolling over.
- Nuts -- In a dry saute pan, toast the pine nuts over medium heat. They only take a few minutes.
- Orzo -- Cook the orzo according to package directions. I like to use a chicken or vegetable broth for more flavor but it is not necessary. Once the orzo is done -- set to the side in a medium size bowl to cool.
- To that same bowl, add the olives, pine nuts lightly chopped, scallions, basil and arugula and toss well.
- Dressing -- I use a baggie for easy clean up, but a small bowl or measuring cup works just fine. Mix everything together and pour over the salad. You may not need all the dressing, so start with 1/2, you can always add more if you like. I go a bit light on dressing.
- Stuff -- Just stuff with the orzo mix. This is so light and easy. Great summer food. Perfect with fresh grilled fish or even just as a light lunch. Enjoy!