Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Dinner: orzo salad

One of my favorite ingredients is orzo: rice shaped pasta. I like it because of its fun shape, ease of cooking and the fact that you can make a vast amount of different dishes based on it.

In the summer, I love making an orzo salad and eating it for days in a row. The flavors seem to become better with every day that the salad sits inside the refrigerator.

You might be thinking, wait, it's no longer summer, and of course you are right. However, it was 90 degrees on Monday, and an orzo salad sounded like a fabulous idea.

The best part, you really don't even need a recipe for this. You just need to use your imagination and creativity. There are a few rules however:
1) orzo must be cooked perfectly: do not under or over cook it, or the salad will be a failure (make sure to drain orzo well after cooking and run cold water through the pasta in order to separate each "grain" from one another)
2) you must season the salad well (I use olive oil and lemon juice, salt & pepper, and a variety of herbs)
3) be creative!!!!

This time my orzo salad consisted of orzo (duh!), cubed cucumbers and tomatoes, red onion, parsley, garbanzo beans, feta cheese, olives, olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper.

I served the salad with shrimp marinated in oil, a bit of lemon juice, garlic, and sweet/hot peppers sauce.


Notes: other good things to put in the salad: roasted red peppers, black beans, fresh corn, cilantro, tuna, etc. You can also use the same ingredients with cous-cous or other shaped pasta or even rice.

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