An easy, delicious Christmas salad, the whole family will adore!
6 heads garlic
Pesto Orzo Salad
300g orzo pasta
250g streaky bacon diced
200g cherry tomatoes halved
½ cucumber finely sliced
½ red onion finely sliced
200g baby bocconcini
¼ cup basil finely sliced
3 tablespoons Rich Glen Basil Garlic Pesto Dressing
200g baby spinach
3 tablespoons garlic chips
50g pecorino romano grated
Peel the garlic by breaking the cloves away and placing them into a heatproof bowl. Submerge in boiling hot water for 5 minutes and drain. The skin will become loose and easy to peel away.
Using a sharp knife, finely slice the garlic into very thin strips.
In a deep dish pan on a high heat, heat the olive oil. Place a wooden skewer into the olive oil and if bubbles form around it the oil is hot enough. Turn the heat to medium and toss in half of the garlic chips. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes or until they turn golden in colour. Move the garlic around with a metal spatula to ensure they do not stick to one another.
Spoon the garlic chips out with a metal skimmer and place onto a plate that is lined with absorbent paper. Cook the remaining garlic chips.
Store the garlic chips in an airtight jar. You can use them immediately or store them in the pantry for several months. They will be crispiest when used straight away.
Allow the olive oil to slightly cool then drain into an airtight jar and use in any recipe that requires olive oil. It will keep for several weeks in a dark space.
Pesto Orzo Salad
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta following the instructions on the pasta packet. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drizzle with a little olive oil while you prepare the remainder of the salad.
In a cold fry pan, add the bacon. Turn the heat to high and fry until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto absorbent paper.
In a small fry pan on a high heat, toast the pine nuts for 1 - 2 minutes or until they develop a very slight golden colour. Set to the side.
In a large salad bowl combine the orzo pasta, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, baby bocconcini, pine nuts and basil. Drizzle with Rich Glen’s Basil Garlic Pesto Dressing and toss all ingredients until well combined. Scatter the baby spinach all over and toss through again.
Sprinkle over the garlic chips. Squeeze the lemon juice all over and finish off by grating the pecorino romano all over.