Orzo and Wild Rice Salad
This wonderful salad of pasta, currants, and vegetables is dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.
This wonderful salad of pasta, currants, and vegetables is dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.
My dilemma was whether to make this a four star or a five star rating, but I'm giving four stars because the dressing wasn't quite right for me. It was perfect until I added it to the salad, and then it got lost. I added at least another tablespoon of the white balsamic vinegar, and that seems to make a big difference. Next time I'll start out with a third of a cup of vinegar and just a little less oil and go from there. The directions for the rice and pasta were right on the mark. I used dried cranberries rather than currants just because that's what I had, and my corn was fresh. I used 1/4 cup of red onion, and I added a little more salt (I used kosher). An addition of about 1/3 cup of toasted slivered almonds is perfect with the rice. These are, for the most part, minor changes (though it sounds like more) for this gorgeous salad. I will definitely make this again! UPDATE: I made this again and upped the vinegar to 1/3 cup, the Dijon to 1 tablespoon, and the salt and pepper a lot! I added almost all the dressing to the warm rice and pasta for several hours before adding all the rest of the ingredients for the last several hours. I owe SUCCESS to my friends on the Recipe Exchange, who graciously aided me in my efforts! :)Read More
My dilemma was whether to make this a four star or a five star rating, but I'm giving four stars because the dressing wasn't quite right for me. It was perfect until I added it to the salad, and then it got lost. I added at least another tablespoon of the white balsamic vinegar, and that seems to make a big difference. Next time I'll start out with a third of a cup of vinegar and just a little less oil and go from there. The directions for the rice and pasta were right on the mark. I used dried cranberries rather than currants just because that's what I had, and my corn was fresh. I used 1/4 cup of red onion, and I added a little more salt (I used kosher). An addition of about 1/3 cup of toasted slivered almonds is perfect with the rice. These are, for the most part, minor changes (though it sounds like more) for this gorgeous salad. I will definitely make this again! UPDATE: I made this again and upped the vinegar to 1/3 cup, the Dijon to 1 tablespoon, and the salt and pepper a lot! I added almost all the dressing to the warm rice and pasta for several hours before adding all the rest of the ingredients for the last several hours. I owe SUCCESS to my friends on the Recipe Exchange, who graciously aided me in my efforts! :)
Excellent. This reminded me of a salad I had at J. Alexander's. It was sooo tasty, not heavy and was an excellent complement to my salmon.
I love this gorgeous looking dish! It is so colorful and mouthwatering! and tastes spectacular!!! I did not have the wild rice on hand so I skipped it - but I will probably use it next time - as it adds to the colors! I will be making this dish again. The recipe calls for alot of vegetables diced into 3 tbsp. amounts. I woun't cut into 3 different peppers just for 1/4 of the pepper or open a can of corn just for 3 tbs. of corn - so of course I ended up with ALOT of this salad. I doubled the dressing, but I omitted the 1/4 cup canola oil (it would be too greasy) - but added in just the 1/4 cup olive oil. I did not have white balsamic vinegar, so I used regular balsamic.
I am giving this 5 stars because the concept of the recipie it self is awesome. I agree with all who said the dressing was "lost" or it just needed more of the dressing it self. I doubled the dressing and was not at all sorry, I also added cranberries instead of currents, and BACON!!! The bacon was awesome. I crisped up about a half a pack of smoked bacon- chopped, and YUMmy! I added about a tablespoon of maple syrup as well to my second dose of dressing as I was out of honey from the first batch of dressing. I love this recipe, I made it for Thanksgiving only to get rave reviews and tons of people asking for the recipe, and I'm making it again due to requests for it at Chirstmas. Have fun and enjoy!!
loved this salad. I made it for a function at work and it was loved by all. I did sub out the currants and instead used golden raisins. Upped the vinegar and dijon mustard. I dressed it shortly before we ate so that the pasta and rice wouldn't absorb all of the dressing and get lost. I will make this again for summer backyard BBQ's. It's very good.
As with any recipe, this can be tweaked according to personal preference. I love this version of this recipe and I also love the original at J. Alexander's. They are very similar. Note: This is a lot of choppping. The recipe is simple but a labor intensive and time consuming unless you have Wolfgang Puck's knife skills. Allow extra time and make ahead. I also recommend good music and your favorite glass of wine. My personal preferences: I use a 2:1 ratio of orzo to wild rice. I use regular balsamic vinegar instead of white (for simplicity). I use Craisins instead of currants. I double the dressing recipe and add until it looks right.
Tastes just like the recipe I had in a restaurant! I did however, add more corn, peppers and used dried cranberries instead of currents.
This took a bit longer than I thought probably because of the time it took to cook the wild rice. BUT this was simple in that it's not fancy and doesn't require any cooking. You can add any veges you'd like to this too. I replaced the currants with dried cranberries and added an asparagus instead of green/yellow bell peppers. I would definitely double the dressing because it was all soaked up the next day not leaving much flavor. Used dark balsamic vinegar instead of white also.
What a fantastic, colorful, delicious, HEALTHFUL recipe! And the possibilities for creativity using this as a base are endless. For example, I didn't have orzo pasta so used brown rice; substituted dried cranberries for the currants; added some diced tomatoes, a bit of chopped broccoli and some sliced black olives; and eliminated the canola oil entirely. My finicky dauthers-in-law had seconds and asked for the recipe! My husband asked me to make it again to take along camping. This is a 10 star recipe in my family!
This recipe is a 'copycat recipe" from J Alexander's..it is their signature Orzo Salad...one of my favorites...I've been making it for years...it takes time to make, but very simple and well worth it!
I only used 1/2 c. olive oil. I was hesitant about the corn and peppers combined with currants (or raisins, which I used), but it really worked together. Great textures, great flavors. My foodie hubby said it was the best pasta-type salad he had ever had. Definite keeper. I used 1/2 the pepper.
This salad was delicious! It was exactly what I was looking for. I made the recipe for 15 and served it at a baby shower. Everyone loved it and begged for the recipe. This is definitely a family keeper. I will make this again and again.
I used a total of 1/4 vinegar and added sliced black olives. To make it vegan, I used agave nectar instead of honey. Dressing also works with 1 lb. of pasta alone.
Very good salad with different flavor than the usual pasta salad. I added some chopped up slivered almonds just because I felt like it and it was good that way. I would make this again.
This salad was yummy! I made a couple of changes...only used red peppers and roasted them. Also used fresh corn on the cob and roasted it also. Next time I would use yellow raisins for just a little more sweetness...great recipe.
I've made this for 2 parties and it's been a hit both times. I don't let the rice and pasta cool before I mix it all together though. I think the warm ingredients absorb the dressing better.
This recipe is yummy! I followed the directions as closely as possible, but I only had dried basil, no currants, and I omitted the canola oil. It was easy to make and tastes wonderful. I took out the canola oil because I didn't want the salad to be greasy, and I don't think it needed it. Try it!!
This salad was very tasty. I served it as an appetizer and everyone loved it. Only change I made was that I added dried cranberries to the mixture. Love this, will definately make this again. Thanks!
Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It's so pretty! I made it exactly as instructed and it's yummy. And healthy. Plus, it's a great recipe for those potluck events because of its vegetarian/ vegan ingredients.
My version had slivered almonds which adds a nice crunch, green onion (in addition to purple) and no bell pepper, but everything else is the same. I never measured anything, just added it until it looked 'pretty'. FABULOUS and a real party pleaser (it's sooo pretty!).
Used quinoa and wild rice; room for improvement on the dressing...
I used Craisins instead of currants. Awesome and colorful. And had a wild rice 'mix'. I am sure it would have been even better with true wild rice
very yummy colorful salad. Changed a few things. I added cucumber, carrot, and fresh spinach. I just used the red pepper and not the green and yellow. I also had regular dark balsamic vinegar so this is what I used. I also used basil infused evoo. I cooked the wild rice in 1/2 chicken broth, 1/2 water for added flavor. Make sure you use the currants (or some type of dried fruit) This makes this salad stand out with a pop of sweetness. added toasted pine nuts because I had some on hand. I also added some crumbled goat cheese right before serving. Everyone raved at how good and pretty this salad was.
Beautiful. Delicious. Impressive. A nice change from the usual pasta salad or rice salad. Read all the reviews to get some really good ideas.
Excellent!! This salad has became a family favorite. I skipped the wild rice because I didn't have any on hand, but we love it with orzo only.
Love it. Was thrilled to find this recipe. Sometimes I'd go to J. Alexanders just for this orzo salad... now I can make it myself.
I love this recipe. It travels well for taking to a summer cookout. I have often substituted different vinegars if I don't have the white balsamic on hand. This is a different twist on pasta salad and has such a good fresh nutty flavor.
Looks very pretty. I avoid the mayonaise type sauce ... just put a little bit of olive oil and that's it!
The best salad i have ever had - fantastic
This a wonderful salad, we ate it hot and cold. I used cranberries it gave just the right amount of sweet and a wonderful pop of color. I did not have white balsamic vinegar so I used what I had the dark balsamic. Will make it again.
I loved this recipe and will make it again.
Excellent salad! Only change was to use a dried berry blend because that's what I had on hand. Everyone enjoyed it. The dressing would be great on a tossed salad as well. Thanks for sharing!
This is a fantastic salad. At first I was concerned with the oil as some other reviews had mentioned that too, but the vinaigrette is spot-on. I followed the recipe exactly, other than I substitute cranberries for currants. The salad is better after it sits for a bit. I often take this to work as my lunch as does my boyfriend. You won’t be disappointed with this one.
Loved this salad. Great for warm summer evenings. Was a hit a a family reunion, too.
This has become the go-to salad for myself, my sister & sisters-in-law this summer. Every potluck or large gathering, we have served it and it always gets great reviews.
Dressing was a bit bland when poured on the salad. I added more vinegar and a little sugar and "sampled" until I got the taste I liked.
I really loved the flavor combinations. I could not find currants so I subbed dried cranberries. I accidentally (long story) heated a serving of it up during lunch break. I couldn't wait for it to chill, so I ate it warm. It was still really good!
I made it for 12and the group really enjoyed it..thanks
My friend made this for Thanksgiving dinner, and I loved it! The currants give it a touch of sweetness and the vinaigrette is splendid. Very moist and delicious.
Very good, I added a few more veggies..
I have made this many times and everyone is always asking for the recipe and leftovers to take home. I go by the recipe on everything but the vegetables and dried fruits...which I typically use what I have on hand. I personally like having more color, so I prefer to have crasins and sweet corn in mine. Its a very flexible and forgiving recipe. Definitely one to keep bookmarked! :)
Just the dressing alone is worth the 5 stars. I just totally emptied my cubbords with this recipe, including tuna, black beans, orzo, tomatoes and the list goes on. Soooo good!
I made this but used a package of brown rice and wild rice, mixed, and a small box of wild rice. It was difficult to find the ingredients in the grocery store I shopped in so I slipped the orzo. I was unable to find fresh basil as well. BUT- everyone loved this salad! I tripled the recipe as I was serving a large-ish group. I used 2 red peppers and a yellow pepper. I also had a large container of grape tomatoes that I halved. I used dried basil as well. I didn't make any changes to the dressing which is incredible. I may steal it for other salads. I may put parsley in the salad the next time I make this. But, it was a huge hit, even among the "low carb" people!
This was amazing. Will absolutely make it again.
Really good.. I did not use all off the dressing.
Excellent recipe! Everyone loved it. I did double the dijon, use plenty of salt and pepper, and add about 1/4 tsp cumin to the dressing. I did a chiffonade on the basil rather than chopping it and I only used red and yellow bell peppers. My grocery store didn't have any plain orzo so I used a bag of "melon seed" shaped pasta from the Mexican pasta section. A definite keeper.