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Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad

This a healthy meal that is full of flavor. It is nice as a side dish or a stand alone meal.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 oz. orzo
  • 2-1/4 tsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
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  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 (2 oz.) jar capers plus 1/2 caper liquid
  • 4 oz. tomato basil feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 (10 oz.) bag fresh spinach leaves, chopped (optional)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Directions:

Bring the chicken broth to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well, pour the orzo into a bowl, toss with the butter, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until the garlic softens and the aroma mellows, about 2 minutes. Stir in the basil, thyme, red pepper flakes. and pine nuts. Cook, while stirring, until the pine nuts have toasted to a light golden brown.

Stir the pine nut mixture into the orzo. Add olives, capers, feta cheese, spinach, lemon juice; toss and serve. Can be served either warm or cold but it is better the next day after the flavored have had time to blend together.

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By Ann from Richland, WA

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