Orzo Salad Recipe with Spinach, Grapes & POM Wonderful Vinaigrette

The beautiful balance of sweet, sour, and salty tastes comes through in this simple orzo salad recipe. You might want to make a double batch and enjoy leftovers the next day like I do, since hearty spinach stands up to the light POM Wonderful vinaigrette. You may use cooked freekeh in place of orzo, if you wish.

Post sponsored by POM Wonderful. Written 100% by me.

Recipe adapted from my book Clean Eating for Busy Families, revised & expanded.

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Whole-Wheat Orzo Salad Recipe with Spinach, Grapes & POM Vinaigrette

1 cup (220 g) dry whole-wheat orzo
2 tablespoons (28 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups (60 g) roughly chopped baby spinach
1 1/4 cups (188 g) halved seedless red grapes
1/2 cup (60 g) diced celery
1/4 cup (30 g) Wonderful Pistachios No Shells Lightly Salted, chopped once through
1/4 cup (25 g) thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup (20 g) shaved or thinly sliced Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons (42 ml) POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon juice, to taste (optional)

Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil on high heat. Stir in orzo, add 1 pinch of salt, and boil for 8 to 10 minutes until al dente. Drain in a fine colander and pour onto a large plate. Drizzle on 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil, separating orzo into sections with a spoon to speed cooling to room temperature.

Toss together in a medium bowl the cooled orzo, remaining tablespoon (15 ml) of oil, spinach, grapes, celery, pistachios, scallions, Parmesan cheese, POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice, salt, and pepper. Spritz in lemon juice, to taste.

Enjoy immediately or chill until ready to serve, up to 2 days.

Total Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings, 1 cup (approx. 223 g) each

Per serving: 357 calories; 12 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 12 g protein; 54 g carbohydrate; 6 g dietary fiber; 4 mg cholesterol.

Go Green
Domestically grown table grape season begins in late spring and ends in December. During the off-season substitute 1/2 cup (75 g) of raisins or 1 cup (75 g) of red-skinned diced pears or apples that have been dipped in water with a little added lemon juice to prevent browning.

Recipe Notes
» Find orzo in the kosher or rice (even though it’s wheat pasta) section of the grocery store. You can substitute regular orzo or barley cooked according to the package directions if whole-wheat orzo is unavailable.

» If you are using a colander with large holes, line the bottom with a coffee filter or cheesecloth to prevent the orzo from falling through.

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