Feb 6

Ancient Chinese Philosophy for Survival–Spinach Orzo Pasta Salad

in Fuji Favorites, Recipes by Type, Salads

"Born to the earth are three kinds of creatures. Some are winged and fly. Some are furred and run. Still others stretch their mouths and talk. All must eat and drink to survive." (Lu Yu, Ancient Chinese Philosopher)

It snowed AGAIN today here in Tokyo. That makes THREE times all in the same winter. That has got to be a record! Things have been busy here at Fuji Mama Headquarters. You know the drill, things to do, places to go, people to see…. With all the hustle and bustle that February has brought around, tonight called for a quick and yummy dinner. I reached down into the depths of my recipe box to pull out a favorite of mine that I've been tweaking over the last couple of years. Here is the result of the latest "tweak":


Fuji Mama's Spinach Orzo Pasta Salad


230 grams/8 oz. orzo pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablepoons minced garlic
1 small lemon, juice and zest of
5 ounces fresh spinach leaves, julienned or finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned or finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons capers
4 – 5 small roma tomatoes, or 3 large, diced
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste


1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.


2. Heat the olive oil in a pan.


3. Add the garlic and give it a couple of stirs, but don't let the garlic brown.


4. Add the lemon zest and juice.


5. Toss in the spinach and red onion and cook until just wilted.


6. Remove from heat and add to the orzo. Add the pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and roma tomatoes, and stir everything together.


7. Refrigerate and serve cold with freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste.


You could also add some sliced olives which would be yummy. This time around for the cheese I used a wonderful rich Latvian Monterigo that a Latvian friend gave me. Mmmmm.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Polly February 6, 2008 at 1:59 pm

What a Fuji Mama vegetarian recipe without your beloved chicken stock?? I am shocked.


Bobbi February 6, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Mmmmm, sounds yummy. I’ve been looking for a good orzo recipe. But, I’m wondering, why not some baking to help heat the place!?!


Kasia February 7, 2008 at 5:57 am

Your orzo recipe looks and sounds sooo yummy! I just wish that it this weird country I’m living in they would sell orzo…


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