Doing it like the (FN) Stars

A few weeks ago, I was watching the Barefoot Contessa and Ina Garten made this amazingly simple but delicious looking dish of cooked grape tomatoes with garlic and fresh herbs. This stayed on my mind and I wasn’t sure when I would get a chance to try it out. Then last week I got a craving for tuna, and decided to combine the two. This made the basis for a salad I prepared on Sunday and portioned into containers to bring for lunches this week. The flavors work really well together, and I really like that I was able to stretch three servings of orzo into four portions. The other ingredients, such as using a whole bag of baby spinach, really help to bulk it up so the portion is still very good for meal. When adding the spinach to the warm orzo and tomatoes, I applied a little trick from Giada that I have seen so many times – adding pasta water to help blend the flavors and bind the ingredients, and in this case, to help wilt the spinach. It worked really well! This is delicious serve chilled or slightly warm/ room temp.

Tuna Orzo Salad with Spinach, Artichokes and Tomatoes

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil3 cloves garlic, minced
fresh chopped basil
6 oz orzo
2 cans tuna
1 can artichokes, drained and chopped
1 package fresh babyspinach
zest of one lemon

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet, and add garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds then add tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes, until they soften and begin to pop. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook orzo (reserve some pasta water). Combine warm cooked orzo and tomatoes in a large bowl. Gently stir in spinach by the handful, letting it wilt slightly. Add hot pasta water as necessary to help wilt the spinach. When spinach is all mixed in, add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Makes 4 servings.

Calories: 327.5
Total Fat: 5.6 g
Cholesterol: 24.8 mg
Sodium: 366.3 mg
Total Carbs: 41.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.9 g
Protein: 30.3 g

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