Sunday, May 23, 2010

Chicken and Orzo Salad



I love salads, LOVE them. Especially for lunch. I think what's so great about a salad is that there are about a bazillion different ways to make them, and more often then not it's going to come out delicious. They're fresh, healthy (usually), and I always feel so good about eating one. So when I was at Williams Sonoma (my home away from home), I couldn't resist coming home with this book.

If you're a salad lover, go buy this book, seriously. I plan on making every single recipe out of it. I have fun just flipping through it. The best part about it is that every salad is fairly simple with ingredients that can be found at a normal grocery store. They also look wonderfully healthy and full of great flavor.

This is the very first salad in the book and it's delicious. Shredded chicken, orzo, grape tomatoes...but the best part was the dressing. It's so easy, pesto and vinegar, why haven't I thought of that before? It was such a filling salad and was packed with the perfect balance of flavors. A little tip on pesto, if you're going to buy it, buy the plastic tubs found in the refrigerator section. The jars that sit on the shelf tend to lose most of that strong basil flavor.

Chicken and Orzo Salad
William Sonoma Salads

Ingredients

2/3 cup pesto
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (I used garlic flavored rice vinegar)
salt and pepper
3 tablespoon olive oil (I didn't even add it and it was fine)
3/4 lbs orzo pasta
2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken (this is where rotisserie chickens come in handy)
1/2 lb halved cherry tomatoes
6 oz baby spinach

Directions

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the pesto, vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, and a pinch of pepper. Gradually whisk in the oil until smooth.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the orzo. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking until the pasta is al dente, according to the package directions. Drain rinse under cold running water, and drain again. Add the orzo to the vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly.

3. Add the chicken, tomatoes and spinach to the orzo and toss gently to combine, the serve.

19 comments:

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm typically not a salad queen, but that looks good!

girlichef said...

Nom, nom, nom! That's a filling salad =)

jscardon said...

Mmmmmm! I'm in love!! Does it store in the refrigerator well? Jon wouldn't go for it, but I'd make it just for me and eat it for lunch everyday, but does it get soggy?

Julie said...

This looks great...can't wait to see all the salads you make!

Melody said...

Mmmmm.....great combinations there. I'll be looking forward to more salad posts so I don't have to buy the book. :)

懿綺 said...

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Pam said...

Wow - this is a fantastic combination of flavors. I love the pesto.

Elizabeth said...

The idea of pasta in salad really intrigues me, I have to give this recipe a try! It looks great!

Erica said...

Williams Sonoma has some amazing recipes. I love putting grains on top of salads - makes it so much more of a meal! Yours looks beautius.

Sook said...

Oh wow, this looks delicious! I love orzo. Had it just the other day, too. :) I am going to have to save this recipe.

Deborah said...

I need to eat more salads. I love that this has orzo in it!

Kim said...

Everytime I go into Williams-Sonoma I always look through this book! It really does have some awesome recipes. I could literally eat this salad every day for lunch - yum!

Velva said...

Williams and Sonoma, Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn all make me nuts when I am visiting the city. I cannot resist, I love these stores and never walk away empty handed. Glad to see that I am not alone.

Williams and Sonoma cookbooks are great. Love that salad you prepared.

Alissa said...

Yum! This was sooooo good! LOVED that it had pasta in it & pesto dressing?! How genius is that?! Such a great lunch!!!!!

Lara said...

I totally want that cookbook now. This salad looks awesome!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I love salads! Especially during the summer. This one sounds reallly good - love that pesto dressing!

theUngourmet said...

Yum! I've never thought of this dressing either! I love orzo and this salad looks so delicious! It makes me feel so ready for warm summer weather and fun potlucks and bbq's!

biz319 said...

pesto+vinegar?? I never thought of this either - genius! Love this salad (sans the grape tomatoes - ew!)

Diana's Cocina said...

This sounds really good! I enjoy summer salads year round! LOL!