Chicken w/ Orzo Salad
This orzo salad is one of my favorite dishes ever. Really. If I had to eat one thing the rest of my life, this would be a contender. It's a recreation of a side dish from J. Alexander's and since a serving of this probably costs $8 at the restaurant, being able to make it at home makes me a very happy girl.
Another thing I love... sharing a nice dinner with my parents. It was warm enough to eat outside when we made this, which is pretty much unheard of for March in Michigan. Enjoying a fresh, tasty dinner and listening to my dad talk about "the old days" reminds me that I'm the luckiest girl in the world. (Sorry if you thought you had that title, but I'm pretty sure I have to claim it.)
Back to the orzo. It has a lot of ingredients, but it's worth it. A lot of the ingredients are things you probably already have and can easily be used in another dish. It's a little sweet and a little tangy and SO GOOD. Make it. You won't be sorry.
Oh yeah! The chicken was good, too.
"J. Alexander's Orzo Salad"
- 1/8 c sweet white balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/4 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp minced garlic
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp fresh chopped basil
- 1/4 c canola oil
- 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
- 2 c orzo
- 1 c (cooked) wild rice
- 3 Tbsp diced red onion
- 3 Tbsp currant
- 2 Tbsp corn niblets
- 3 Tbsp each of diced yellow, red, and green bell pepper
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 c chopped parsley
1) Cook 2 c orzo according to package directions. Cook wild rice so you have 1 c once it's cooked. Shock in cold water and refrigerate.
2) Make the dressing: combine in a small bowl 1/8 c sweet white balsamic vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp honey, 1/4 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp minced garlic, 1/8 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp fresh chopped basil. Slowly whisk in 1/4 c canola oil and 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil.
3) In a large bowl, combine orzo and wild rice with red onion, currant, corn, bell peppers, basil, S&P, parsley. Add dressing and stir. Serve cold.