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Summer Orzo Salad

Looking through my big binder of recipes I stumbled upon one we found a couple of years ago.  It is a nice change in  the continually parade of summer salads.  Definitely not a potato or a traditional macaroni salad.  I am not really a fan of mayonnaise based salads, so this s a great change. The dried cherries and pine nuts are a great surprise.  This makes a very large quantity and is also great eaten alone as a small meal.  A cool and refreshing change!

Summer Orzo Salad

Ingredients

1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.
Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve.

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