Farmer's market hasnt sprung up yet in our region what with the cold spring, frost etc. But there are some really fresh vegetables that have started arriving in the grocery stores. I havent been cooking much of late and I've been looking for ways to avoid cooking or even if I do, spend as little time as possible in the kitchen. I have subsisted on sandwiches (with hummus or cheese) for the past few days but realized I wasnt getting much veggies. Also, I had some green squash and bell peppers that needed my immediate attention before they lose their freshness. I wanted a complete quick-cooking meal using up the vegetables I had on hand. I figured salad was probably my best option to both use up the vegetables and do so in minimum amount of time. So I cut them up, sauteed a little bit to take the edge off and tossed them with some orzo and a very simple dressing. There was my quick dinner, all healthy and tasty.
- Asparagus or any other spring vegetable will work fine in this salad.
- If you like the "garlicky" taste, add an extra clove of garlic.
- Fresh herbs like basil or parsley can be used as a garnish.
- I made a very simple dressing but feel free to use any oil/vinegar based dressing.
3/4 cup Whole wheat orzo
1 medium-sized Zucchini
1 medium sized bell pepper
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
Basil or parsley (optional)
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice (or as required)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 pinch red chili flakes (adjust according to taste)
Salt to taste
- Cook orzo in a large pot of boiling water for about 7-9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a bowl whisk all ingredients under dressing. Taste, adjust salt and lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a saute pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add red chili flakes and garlic.
- Add chopped vegetables. Saute for 5-7 minutes. Just until the vegetables are tender but firm.
- Add salt, taste and remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, mix the cooked orzo and veggies. Add the dressing, toss well. Taste, adjust seasoning.
- Garnish with fresh basil/parsley and/or parmesan.