Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had something, and then tried to go home and recreate it?
That is what I did with this salad. I had it at one of our local “chain” restaurants here that I’m not super crazy about, but our kids wanted to go there the other night. This salad was served alongside the most amazing yellowfin ahi-tuna and baby green beans.
I went home and started to experiment. I was pretty sure about the main ingredients, but it took some tweaking of the dressing.
This is what I came up with!
Begin by making the dressing because you need it to cool.
Take 1/4 cup of cranberry juice (I used light), and put it in a small saucepan, along with 1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries.
Add one tablespoon of sugar.
Also add 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. (Remember- I’m tripling for my quantities in pictures).
Also, add 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Get one box of Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice mix (original). Take your Uncle Ben’s seasoning packet out of the box. Now is the time to add in your seasoning packet from your rice. Whisk it all up and let it come to a low simmer. Turn off the heat and pour into a bowl.
Chop up 1 clove of garlic and add it in. Put this mixture in your refrigerator to chill and let all the flavors meld together and become best friends.
Now for the pasta.
I actually tripled the recipe and used an entire package of orzo. But 1/2 cup uncooked orzo typically equals one cup cooked orzo. It takes about 9-11 minutes to cook in boiling water. Drain it well and rinse to remove the starch.
Wild Rice- one package of Uncle Ben’s original. Make the rice according to package directions but remember we used the seasoning packet, so don’t bother with that….cuz you can’t.
Once your orzo is cooked, drain and rinsed, put it in a large serving bowl. Drizzle it with your 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and stir to coat and break up any pasta that might be sticking together.
Also, pour in your wild rice , peppers and onions into the serving bowl.
Pour your dressing over top and mix it up real well with a big spoon.
Here’s a close-up.
Let this cool for an hour or so and serve.
It’s refreshing, it’s healthy, and it’s GOOD!
Katie’s Printable Recipe – Orzo Pasta Salad with Wild Rice