Orzo Summer Salad with Lemon, Spinach & Tomatoes

Last Modified: 10/18/07
First Published: 04/09/07
Views: 538
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Views: 538

This is one of our favorite pasta salads. It is so light and flavorful! Orzo is a different kind of pasta shaped like rice that works very well in salads. This combination of spinach, cherry tomatoes, lemons and basil is wonderful. Serve either as a main dish with some hearty bread, or as a side dish next to a piece of meat off the grill!


  • 1 pound spinach, washed, dried, stems removed
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo, cooked to al dente
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the bowl
  • 24 basil leaves, torn or thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper


Pile spinach leaves in stacks 1 on top of the other. Thinly slice stacks of leaves to make spinach confetti. Pile shredded spinach into the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl. Halve grape or cherry tomatoes with a paring knife and add them to the mixing bowl.

Add the zest of 2 lemons to the bowl and save the lemons in the refrigerator to juice for another recipe. Add hot cooked and drained orzo pasta to the mixing bowl. The heat of the pasta will wilt the spinach and warm the tomatoes at the bottom of the bowl and get the juices flowing from veggies. The heat of the pasta will also release the flavor and oils in the lemon zest.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil over the pasta and toss to combine the veggies and orzo. Add basil and salt and pepper and toss to combine. Taste your orzo to adjust seasonings and serve.

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