Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Left-Over Wednesdays: Orzo and Rice Salad

Scott, Rachel and I recently ate at J. Alexander's and I had their chicken salad sandwich. Their chicken salad is great, served on focaccia bread with provolone cheese. Yum! But my favorite was the orzo and wild rice salad that came with it! So, I set out to find a copy-cat recipe!
I based my creation on CDKitchen's copycat recipe for Orzo and Rice salad, making a few tweaks here and there.

Orzo and Rice Salad

2 cups orzo pasta, cooked and drained well
1 cup wild rice (I used a wild rice and long-grain rice mixture)
1/4 cup red onions, diced very small
1/4 cup corn nibblets (the canned variety)
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced very small
1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced very small
1/4 cup green onions, sliced small
1/4 cup Craisins (original recipe called for currants, but I like Craisins better)
1-3 tablespoons pine nuts (my addition)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

All the lovely, fresh ingedients assembled!

1. Cook orzo and rice according to directions. I like to leave both slightly al dente.

2. Chop all vegetables, being sure to try to make everything the same size. With this type of salad, it's important to make everything about the same size, taking your cue from the orzo and rice. Toss vegetables, orzo and rice together in a large bowl, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Notice how small everything is, and mostly uniform in size.

3. Make dressing: combine all ingredients, except for oils. Whisk well to dissolve sugar and incorporate mustard. Slowly whisk in the oils until fully emulsified. (I used both oils like the recipe called for the first time I made this, but the second time I only used olive oil. Either way, the dressing tasted fine.)

4. Toss the orzo and rice mixture with the dressing until fully coated. Refrigerate salad until ready to serve. Also good the next day after the flavors meld together.

Yum! We grilled chicken breasts to serve with the salad!


Rachel said...

yum yum yum!!!

Beth said...

Ooohh... sounds so good. But after 4 or 5 ingredients in a recipe, I usually feel overwhelmed! ;)

christiejones said...

Sounds so good!!!!!

christiejones said...

btw, love the new blog design. tempts me to change mine...