I love this chopped salad--so many great flavors and textures. And with the chicken it works as a main course. Or leave the chicken out and serve it with something else. It was inspired by a salad I ordered in an Italian restaurant years ago and my sisters and I have been making it ever since. It's got lots of the things I love (seems they keep cropping up in the recipes I share) like spinach and orzo pasta and chicken. But there are capers and sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts too.
Click to read the recipe.
ITALIAN CHOPPING SPINACH SALAD
- 4 packages baby spinach leaves (10 oz each)
- 8 oz orzo pasta (cooked, rinsed in cold water, and drained)
- white meat from one large rotisserie chicken (tear it off in small chunks)
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes (or 5 Roma tomatoes) (seeded and chopped)
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (rinsed if they are in oil) (chopped)
- 8 T capers
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
For Dressing: (make at least 3 hours ahead)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
To make the dressing mix all the ingredients in a blender and let it rest for at least 3 hours (can be made the day ahead) so the flavors mellow a bit.)
Thinly slice the spinach--grab it by handfuls and chop--and throw it in a large salad bowl.
Add the orzo.
Add the rotisserie chicken.
Add the tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, olives and capers.
Add the Parmesan cheese.
Mix all ingredients well. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Serve.
(I like it room temperature or chilled)