You'll Never Guess The Secret Ingredient In Giada DeLaurentiis' Salad

While salads can be cool and refreshing, sometimes the dish can become a little one-note or monotonous. When everything that is combined in the bowl has a similar texture, the salad seems particularly boring. A great salad usually hits different parts of our palate by having sweet, salty, and sour or acidic components with varied texture. That's why Giada DeLaurentiis' unusual secret ingredient makes salads so good. It adds not only great, crunchy texture to the dish, but offers a more filling meal with its richness too (via Yahoo). 

Though DeLaurentiis has tons of delicious salads in her repertoire, her antipasti salad, which utilizes fried orzo, is perfect for summer. Orzo, which is a rice-shaped pasta that we often use in vegetable pasta salads, or toss into soups during colder months, adds a luscious, rich flavor because she fries it in olive oil. Not to mention, when the pasta is fried, it is just crunchy enough to really shake things up.

How to add fried orzo to your salads

The great thing about adding fried orzo to your salad — apart from the added flavor and texture — is that it is relatively easy to make, and can even be done in advance. The fried orzo needs to be par-cooked before it is fried. This means that the orzo is partially cooked, so it is done on the outside, but still firm in the center. Once the orzo is half-cooked, you can keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry it, or you can go ahead and fry it immediately.

To do so, just add the orzo to a pan of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook until the pasta is golden brown, then use a slotted spoon to scoop the pasta out and let it dry on a paper towel-lined plate or bowl. Once the rest of the salad is assembled, all you have to do is sprinkle the fried orzo over the top and serve (via Food Network).

With a twist this easy, there's no reason not to try it the next time you're making a salad for a gathering of friends or family.