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Clare’s Spinach Chickpea Orzo Salad

The mixture of textures is a pretty important part of this dish. You need a good crunch and a mild oniony flavor; radishes are a good substitute for sweet onion. The celery is important, and the cherry tomatoes have to be halved. I just eyeball the ratio of ingredients, so these are approximate measurements.

Ingredients

  • Orzo about 1/2 lb or 1.5 cups.
  • Can of chickpeas
  • Bag of baby spinach
  • 1 or 2 stalks celery sliced pretty thin. Don’t use the skinny inner stalks. You want a good crunch.
  • a pint or couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved.
  • a handful of kalamata olives. chopped a bit into chunks.
  • feta cheese, maybe a 4 ounce chunk, diced.
  • Sweet onion quartered and sliced as thin as you can get it. About 1/4 cup
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • Pita bread

Preparation

  1. Slosh about 3 Tb of Olive oil and 2 Tb of balsamic vinegar in a big bowl. A couple glugs and a few shots.
  2. Cook the orzo. Start slicing and chopping the celery, tomatoes, olives, feta, and onion.
  3. Drain the orzo. ASAP put it in the big bowl and stir it all around so the oil & vinegar start to soak in.
  4. Immediately put about 3/4 of the baby spinach in the orzo and stir. Stir a few minutes until it’s all mixed in and starts to wilt.
  5. Finish slicing and chopping the celery, tomatoes, olives, feta, and onion.
  6. Drain the can of chickpeas.
  7. After a few minutes the spinach should be pretty wilted. Put all the chopped up stuff and the chickpeas in the big bowl and stir it all up.
  8. Add a bit of lemon juice
  9. Add salt and black pepper if you want. We always add it individually to each plate.
  10. Serve with pita bread!

Is almost as good chilled the next day, although the spinach gets pretty soggy. I haven’t invented a way to incrementally add fresh spinach that doesn’t involve cooking.

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