Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Week 15: Warm Strawberry Bacon Orzo Salad

I've been dreaming about salad. 

Let me repeat that.

I've been dreaming about salad.

This is not like me. This is a splendid day. I guess it's been a few days, but still.

I just wanted spinach and dressing and something sweet all tossed together into a salad.

I spent two days searching for this salad. I knew I had it somewhere. It was tucked away in an internet folder waiting to be found, and find it I did. 

It includes bacon. That was probably the first clue that I would love it. Part two...strawberries. LOVE. I love strawberries. I might have mentioned that before. Goat cheese I can pass on and oh, did I mention that I like pecans too? This salad has all those things in it. It's like one of those commercials where they tell you something, but wait! There's more!

Strawberries and spinach!

But wait, there's more!

Orzo and pecans!

But wait, there's more!

Beware, the amount of red onion that it calls for is pretty potent. I would recommend less. I still smell like it and I ate this an hour ago.

Warm Strawberry Bacon Orzo Salad
originally from How Sweet it Is

1/2 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo (or any other grain)
2 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup whole pecans
1/2 red onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups raw spinach
4 large strawberries, sliced
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
fresh basil for garnish
salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Fry until golden brown and crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Add pecans and toast for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally so they do not burn. Remove and drain on a paper towel. In the meantime, boil water for orzo and cook according to directions.

Add sliced red onion to the skillet with a sprinkle of salt and stir to coat with bacon grease. Saute until onions are soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add in garlic and spinach and cook until spinach wilts. Add in strawberries and orzo and mix to coat. Season with salt and pepper, then add in pecans and bacon. Remove from heat and stir in crumbled goat cheese. Top with fresh basil to garnish if you’d like. Serve immediately. It tastes good cold too!

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