Orzo Salad with Golden Raisins and Pinenuts

Last night, I had my friend Robin and her family for dinner to celebrate her 29th birthday. (heehee). I asked her what she wanted for dinner with the salmon I was making  and she said “Orzo Salad…you know…the one you make that you give me the recipe then I lose it all the time?” Well, that is this one. So here you go, Robin…your favorite recipe. Now you can’t lose it. Happy Birthday!

I used some really cool pasta I got up at Pike’s Market in Seattle a few weeks ago. It was called “spring medley.” It was prettier and slightly larger than regular orzo pasta, but I really didn’t taste the difference. I also used some fresh herbs from my garden…cilantro, chives, and basil. If you haven’t planted herbs in your garden yet, you should…they make everything taste better, and honestly, it is pretty cool to go out to the garden for your herbs :).

This is one of my friend's favorite pasta salads...I hope you like it too!

This is one of my friend’s favorite pasta salads…I hope you like it too!

Orzo Salad with Golden Raisins and Pine nuts

3 cups cooked  “spring medley” orzo

(use plain orzo…I just happened to get this in Seattle from Pappardelle’s)

1/4 cup Lime Vinaigrette (see last post or below)

1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted

1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

6 dried apricots, chopped

6 Tbs. golden raisins

2 Easy-peel mandarines, peeled and divided or 1 can mandarines

1 Tbs cilantro, chopped

1 Tbs chives, snipped

1 Tbs. basil chopped

Combine all ingredients and allow to sit together for 15-30 minutes before serving.

Lime Vinaigrette

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 shallot, minced

1 tsp dijon

1 tsp agave

zest of one lime

1 cup olive oil

Combine everything together in jar then shake until combined or add to a mini blender and pulsate until combined.

What do I love about this recipe? I really like this one because it is light and different from most other pasta salads. Truth be told, I don’t even LIKE pasta salad…most anyway…but I do like this one a lot.

What don’t I like about this recipe? Nothing! I like it. Robin likes it. So I make it when we do summer barbecues together!

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