Bacon. Do I have your attention?
I was in charge of bringing a salad to a family BBQ birthday celebration over the weekend. I racked my brain to try to think of something outside of the box (i.e. no pasta or potato salad). Remember when I said that orzo is like the forgotten carb? Well, I’m not forgetting about it this weekend. I’m making an orzo salad.
Yes, orzo is type of pasta, so I guess that I’m sort of cheating by still bringing a “pasta” salad. However, this one is different than any other that you might see at the salad table because orzo is shaped like rice. Just bear with me here. 😉
I added bacon to this orzo salad because everyone loves bacon (well, everyone in my family, that is). What tastes good with bacon? Cheese, corn, and bell peppers, so that’s what I added to this salad. Okay, so to be totally fair here, I actually said to my husband “If I’m making orzo salad with bacon, what else goes good in that?” and the extra ingredients were the suggestions he made.
There is a time and a place for making homemade salad dressing. This was not one of those times. I wanted easy and fast so I went with a store bought bottle of Italian salad dressing. My husband’s suggestion was a creamy Italian, but either I’m blind or they just don’t sell it in my local grocery store. I made this salad the day before the party so if you do the same, add just a little bit of dressing right after you’ve made it, just enough so that the orzo doesn’t stick together in a single massive orzoberg. Then add the rest of the salad dressing right before you serve it. This will prevent the dressing from soaking into the orzo overnight, which does not make for good eats.
This bacon orzo salad was a hit with the family!
Bacon Orzo Recipe
(Makes a bunch)
- 1 box (1 pound) of uncooked orzo
- 10 bacon strips
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups of corn
- 8 ounces shredded mild Cheddar cheese
- your favorite creamy Italian dressing (I used Olive Garden’s signature Italian salad dressing.)
- Cook the orzo according to the directions on the box. Drain the cooked orzo, add it to a bowl, and set it aside. Let the orzo cool completely. (Any left over heat can turn your cheese into goo and the goal here is that the little shreds of cheese remain intact.)
- While the orzo is cooking, cook the bacon strips. Cook them until they are done to your liking. (I like them crispy.)
- Chop the bacon and add it to the bowl of cooked orzo.
- Add the chopped bell pepper, corn, and shredded Cheddar cheese to the orzo mixture.
- Add in the creamy Italian dressing (or regular Italian if you can’t find it). Add however much you like.
Source: Tina’s Chic Corner