An absolutely delightful salad with delicious Italian tuna. Perfect for hot summer days and for anyone who wants to eat lighter with fresh ingredients. ENJOY!
2 – 8 oz. jars/cans of imported Italian tuna packed in water or olive oil
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 cup baby spinach, cut up into smaller pieces
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 cup toasted pine nuts
6 – 8 leaves of basil, chopped
2 – 4 oz. goat cheese crumbles
For the vinaigrette:
2 – 3 Tbsp. lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil (regular EVOO is just fine too)
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of sea salt
pinch of freshly cracked black pepper
Ahead of time, whisk all of the vinaigrette ingredients together until well blended. Set aside until ready to dress the salad. Refrigerate leftover vinaigrette.
Under a broiler, roast the pine nuts until golden. Keep an eye on these because they burn very fast. It will only take a minute or two to become golden.
In a large pot, boil water and then cook the orzo pasta according to package directions (minus 2 – 3 minutes though so it doesn’t overcook), until al dente and not soft. Immediately drain the orzo in a colander and run cold water over it to chill the pasta. Set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, chop up all of the remaining salad ingredients and put them in a large serving bowl. Add the pasta when drained and chilled. Mix everything thoroughly.
Drizzle the lemon vinaigrette lightly over the salad and toss.