As I mentioned in my most recent posts, time is of the essence these days in my house. If I get 20 minutes in the kitchen I need to capitalize to get food done! This post’s recipe is another speedy dish that is packed with Spring flavors. I’m talking all about Chicken, Artichoke and Herb Orzo Salad in this post.
There’s a few things about this recipe I really love. The first is the orzo. I honestly don’t know what it is about this pasta shape but it’s so perfect for cold salads. Maybe it’s that the edges of the pasta stay just a little al dente when cooked for some added texture. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s even more little surfaces that get coated in dressing. It also could be that this pasta feels light. Maybe not in the nutritional sense but it’s just not as dense as other pasta shapes. It doesn’t weigh you or the salad down. But, regardless of the reason orzo is an optimal Spring Salad ingredient.
My other love in this recipe is the lemon vinaigrette. If you pay attention to my recipes you’ll notice that every dressing I use is a vinaigrette. I don’t like mayonnaise and I’m currently avoiding dairy so creamy dressings are out. The clean, crisp and sometimes tart vinaigrettes can truly match with anything you pair them with. Not to mention, they are much healthier! This particular dressing has the softened lemon flavor from the zested rind and a punch of garlic to give it some pizazz. This dressing is the perfect match for the herbs and artichokes tossed in this salad!
The last thing I love is the total cheat of using a rotisserie chicken. Sometimes convenience beats out doing it on your own. And lately, I’m all about that. And by the way, I’m ok with it. I don’t need to try and be Martha Stewart everyday. A semi home cooked dish can still be inspired. I simply chopped up the white meat portions of the chicken to mix into the salad. I bagged up the wings and thighs to eat for a separate meal. So now I’ve got 2 meals out of this work around, not bad!!
Ok, I’ll stop yammering and get to the recipe. But, first here’s 3 ways to enjoy this salad.
- Bag it up for a work week lunch.
- Enjoy for a light dinner with a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc
- Whip it up for your holiday barbecues as a side dish!
…all for the love of the dish
- For the Pasta Salad
- 2 cups uncooked orzo
- 2 & 1/2 cups cubed rotisserie chicken
- 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, packed in water
- 1/4 cup fresh basil finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- For the dressing
- Zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- Optional: additional fresh herbs for topping
- Bring a large, salted, pot of water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to box instructions. Drain and place in large serving bowl.
- Cube the rotisserie chicken, drain the artichokes and wash and chop the herbs.
- Add all three of these ingredients to the orzo.
- Make the vinaigrette. mince the garlic and add that to the zest and juice of lemon, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Pour vinaigrette in with orzo salad, while still warm, and toss.
- Let the salad come to room temperature and then chill in fridge until ready to serve.