Herb & Roast Garlic SpinOrzo Salad
5 cloves roasted garlic (may substitute minced sauteed garlic; but roasted is YUM!)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2-1/2 cups cooked orzo pasta, prepared per package directions & cooled
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1. Roasted Garlic - you have two choices for the roasted garlic: a. [u]Roasted Heads of Garlic[/u]: Slice the top off of a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or so, until cloves are soft when poked with a fork-- for best energy usage, I like to throw a couple heads of garlic in with other roasted veggies well before I plan to need it, & then use it gradually over the next couple weeks. b. [u]Roasted Cloves of Garlic[/u]: Peel the individual cloves, rub with olive oil, and bake on a cookie sheet for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, watching carefully and removing each clove as it becomes lightly brown around the edges.
2. Toast walnuts & pine nuts in dry skillet over medium heat, for 2 minutes or until you see the first pine nut start to brown (don't overdo it! they burn quickly).
3. Mash garlic with a fork, until it's transformed into yummy-roasted-garlic-paste.
4. Combine orzo, spinach, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, oil, and nuts; mix well. Add salt & red pepper, tasting to adjust seasonings as needed. Chill at least one hour, before serving. Enjoy!
Source of recipe: I came up with this recipe, for make-ahead lunches & potluck situations.