Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Would the Real Phat Salad Please Stand Up?

Yes, yes, I did make a mistake!  Horrific, I know.  I had titled another recipe Phat Salad, and my husband called me out on it.  Oh, the shame!  That one has since been retitled Retreat Salad.

Well, anyway, my husband calls this one Phat Salad because it is so scrumptious that he can't help eating it until he feels fat.  What a clever man.  It came to me by way of my friend Betsy who got it from the July 1998 issue of Bon Appetit, and is officially called Orzo with Everything by the magazine.  It's great for parties because it's easy to make, serves at room temperature, and is beautifully colorful.

1 1/2 C orzo pasta
1/3 C (packed) drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (I use one whole 8.5 oz bottle)
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/4 C (packed) chopped Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives

1 C finely chopped radicchio (about 1 small head)
1/2 C toasted pine nuts
1/2 C chopped fresh basil
1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 large garlic cloves, minced

Cook orzo in a pot of salted boiling water until just tender but still firm to bite.  Drain well.  Transfer to large bowl.  Add sun-dried tomatoes, oil, vinegar and olives and toss to blend.  Let stand until cool.  (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature before continuing.)

Mix chopped radicchio, pine nuts, basil, Parmesan and garlic into orzo mixture.  Season salad to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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