warm orzo salad with beets and greens

November 29, 2010

Statesiders, are you sick of Thanksgiving leftovers yet? I think I’m just about done with eating cold turkey. Although I have to say that the turkey/stuffing/mashed potato omelette (don’t knock it til you try it) that my awesome husband brought me in bed the other morning was pretty stellar.

Even so, time for a change and here it is. This dish is a welcome relief from all things holiday-related. It’s a great Autumn/Winter salad: warm and hearty, yet fresh and tangy. Love.

I love roasting beets but I’ve never boiled them before. I’ve also never used the beet greens before. Turns out, sauteed with red onion and garlic, they are nigh on perfect.

Add in some al dente orzo, crunchy, toasted pine nuts, and creamy, tangy feta and you have yourself a whole lotta loving in a bowl. Don’t you love how the orzo is all orangey-red from cooking in the beet water? I do. But then, those are the kinds of things that excite me. And yes, I need to get out more.

Warm Orzo Salad with Beets and Greens

from The Parsley Thief


  • 3/4 lb beets with greens
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces orzo pasta
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat the pine nuts in a dry skillet, over medium heat, until they begin to brown. Watch them carefully, as they will burn in a flash. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Peel the beets and slice them into bite-sized pieces. Remove the stems from the beet greens and slice the leaves into strips. Wash the greens thoroughly to remove any grit.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced red onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are tender and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the beet greens. Cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the beets in a pot of salted water, until just tender, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the beets from the pot using a slotted spoon and set aside. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook, according to the package instructions, until al dente and drain.
  5. Add the orzo to a bowl, along with the beets, pine nuts, beet greens and crumbled feta. Toss, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Serves 6, as a side dish

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