I have really been on a kick with roasted beets lately, and I’ve also recently really come to love orzo – which is a rice shaped pasta. I wanted to make a salad the would combine the two but also be light and bright for summer. The brightness in this salad is going to come from lemon zest and lemon juice and fresh parsley sprinkled over the top of the salad.
To begin boil your orzo. In general I have found that most packages call for the orzo to be cooked for 8 – 11 minutes or so. In my experience or at least for the texture that I like, the orzo needs to be cooked more like 14 minutes. Anywho – drain the pasta and spread it out to cool
Take about 4 ounces of spinach and chiffonade it
Roasted beets are so satisfying to cut. They hold their shape and they just slice like butter. I like to cut them into as perfect of a cube as I can possibly manage for this salad. This is one roasted beet cubed up
Next slice a shallot into long slivers
Once everything is all chopped up and ready see if your orzo has cooled. There shouldn’t be any heat left in it. It might even help to put it in the fridge to really get it chilled all the way.
When you find the orzo has cooled take your lemon and zest the exterior right over the pasta. Then juice the lemon over a strainer, and pour the strained juice right on the orzo
Toss the zest and the juice with the orzo, next you’ll start to add everything in. Start with the spinach and shallot. Add a tablespoon or two of sunflower oil just to help everything stay mobile
I add the roasted beets last, as their color will start to bleed out into whatever they are touching. The goat cheese I sprinkle over top after the beets have been added. The contrast of the deep magenta and white goat cheese is so beautiful. Finally take some parsley and chop it over the top of the salad and serve.
So for the recipe part
1 cup cooked orzo
4 ounces spinach chopped
1 lemon – zested and juiced
4 ounces goat cheese
1 roasted beet diced
1 shallot sliced
a few tablespoons of sunflower oil
salt and pepper to taste
a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley
My video showing you how to roast beets