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Orzo question -- cooling after cooking?

TorontoJo | May 22, 201006:12 PM     13

I'm planning on making some variant of this orzo salad recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/gi...

The recipe calls for the orzo to be cooked and drained, then spread on a baking sheet, drizzled/tossed with olive oil and allowed to cool. Once cool, all the other ingredients get tossed together (including more oil for the dressing).

My question -- is there any particular reason to use the cooling method above rather than just running under cold water or plunging into an ice bath? I'm assuming that the goal is to separate the grains and coat them with oil so that they won't stick together in the salad. I normally wouldn't run pasta under cold water as I don't want to lose the starch, but for a cold pasta salad, this doesn't seem like it would be a bad thing.

Thoughts?

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