You are gonna love this Artichoke Orzo Salad this summer! Spinach, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes all add flavour and interest. And...the best part.....
is that it uses the juice from the marinated artichoke hearts for the dressing! So it is quite light but still flavourful!.
My husband is not a big fan of artichoke but even he was raving about this salad. I think there are enough other flavours going on that it is not solely defined by the artichokes.
You can make this a few hours or even a day ahead if you limit the dressing until just before serving.
- You can use goat cheese or feta cheese with equal success.
- Feta cheese can be quite salty so you may want to omit the ¼ teaspoon salt until you taste the salad.
- If you buy pre-washed spinach you can save time and effort in preparing.
- During the height of tomato season you may choose to use fresh tomatoes instead of sun-dried.
- Green or black olive work equally as well so go according to your pantry and your taste.
- If you have to remove the olive pits just crush the olive with the broad side of a chef's knife on a flat surface. Olive flesh will split and allow easy removal of the pit.
- The orzo will absorb the artichoke marinade to some degree. If not serving immediately add only a couple of Tablespoons to just moisten the salad and add the remainder shortly before serving
Wine Pairing for Artichoke Orzo Salad
So many choices here! An herbal Sauvignon Blanc would pair well with the artichoke profile here. A crisp Pinot Grigio would also work.
If you want to expand your palate a bit look for an Italian Soave or Falanghina.
A dry, herbal Rosé, Provençal style would work
On the red spectrum a Valpolicella blend, or an Italian Merlot based wine would work. If you want something a bit different look for a Primitivo or Negroamaro.
- 1 cup orzo (uncooked)
- 2 cups baby spinach cleaned and chopped
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 3 Tbsps red onion chopped
- 3 Tbsps olives pitted and chopped - your choice green or black
- 6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts drain and reserve marinade
- ¾ cup goat cheese can substitute feta
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Drain orzo and mix in large bowl with spinach, tomatoes, onion, olives, salt and pepper.
- Drain artichokes reserving liquid. Chop artichokes roughly and add to salad. Crumble goat cheese and add. If serving right away add the artichoke marinade an toss gently. If making ahead, stir in a tablespoon or 2 of the liquid and save the remainder to add just before serving.