Summer Pasta Salad Recipe -- Orzo with Lemon and Kale

Ruffles are still in vogue for summer fashion, so why not carry the theme through to your summer cuisine? Kale, nature's most ruffly green, is a nutritional powerhouse -- packed with vitamins A&C, beta-carotene and lutein!  Healthy and delicious too, Kale harmonizes beautifully with lemon, feta and orzo pasta in this quick and easy pasta salad:

Orzo Pasta with Lemon & Kale

1 small onion or 2 large shallots, diced
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch of kale, thick stems and ribs removed, leaves chopped (approx. 10 ounces)
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 pound dried orzo pasta
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
3 teaspoons kosher salt
pepper to taste
crumbled bacon or toasted pine nuts for garnish (optional)

Step 1:  Bring a large pot of water up to boil for the orzo.  Cook according to package's instructions.  While orzo is cooking, prepare kale:

Step 2:  Heat 2 TB olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add onion and saute for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, till translucent and lightly browned.

Step 3:  Add chopped kale, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and chicken stock.  Cover and simmer over medium heat for five minutes.  

Step 4:  Remove lid and stir kale.  If pan is dry, add a bit more chicken stock.  Cover with lid again and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Step 5:  Remove lid and stir.  Continue to cook until kale is completely wilted and all moisture has evaporated.

Step 6:  When pasta is ready, drain and set aside in a large bowl.  While still warm, toss in feta cheese and kale/onion mixture.

Step 7:  In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 3 Tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, lemon zest, and lemon juice.  Whisk until well combined (about 2 minutes).  Pour over the orzo and stir to combine.  Pepper to taste.

Step 8:  Chill at least 2 hours.  Best when chilled overnight.

Serve with a garnish of crumbled bacon or toasted pine nuts

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