Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spring Orzo Salad

We have been reeling under damp and gloomy weather for the past couple of days. Spring here refuses to go away and its unseasonably cold. Maybe I angered the "Spring gods" with my ramble a few posts ago, claiming my less than friendly relations with the spring season :-) So if an apology will make this cold spring go away and warm summer to arrive, I can very well offer a thousand "Sorrys" :-) And if sorry wont cut it, here's a salad honoring the season !!


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.

Notes:
  1. Asparagus or any other spring vegetable will work fine in this salad.
  2. If you like the "garlicky" taste, add an extra clove of garlic.
  3. Fresh herbs like basil or parsley can be used as a garnish.
  4. I made a very simple dressing but feel free to use any oil/vinegar based dressing.
Ingredients
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)

Dressing:
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

Method
  1. Cook orzo in a large pot of boiling water for about 7-9 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a bowl whisk all ingredients under dressing. Taste, adjust salt and lemon juice. Set aside.
  3. In a saute pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add red chili flakes and garlic.
  4. Add chopped vegetables. Saute for 5-7 minutes. Just until the vegetables are tender but firm.
  5. Add salt, taste and remove from heat.
  6. In a large bowl, mix the cooked orzo and veggies. Add the dressing, toss well. Taste, adjust seasoning.
  7. Garnish with fresh basil/parsley and/or parmesan.
This will be my entry to Preeti's "Green gourmet" event.

Enjoy !!

21 comments:

Sushma Mallya said...

Salad looks nice & healthy...nice ingredients used to make it more delicious...

Asha said...

One more month to go, hold on Rajee.I have allergy to boot too, I am waiting for Summer! :)

Salad looks filling and yummy.

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Never made orzo before, this looks delicious.

simply.food said...

Whata healthy and delicious salad .Nice combo of ingredients used too.

Recipemom said...

what a healthy salad. this looks so good and yummy

Jay said...

Hy Rajee,
First time here...Amazed by your healthy collection of recipes..Am your new follower now..:)
Do drop in at my blog sometime..
Salad is so appetizing n yummy...

suman said...

Orzo Salad looks healthy n delicious...

Preeti Kashyap said...

This is new to me! Looks Lovely!

PJ said...

I too hate to cook in winter but I have no chance to skip cooking ,got some hungry mouths to feed ;)..Btw,That's a super salad :)

Gulmohar said...

Perfect spring recipe...Healthy salad

Uma said...

Hi Rajee,

soon the weather will be the way u like :)
orzo is new for me.. worth trying!
mung dosa looks good..

Cheers,

Chetana said...

Hey Rajee,
First time here...u hv a long long list...liked dis healthy salad..will be bk.
Cheers,
Chetana
www.myrecipegalore.blogspot.com

knk said...

salad looks delicious great recipe

sowmya's creative saga said...

good and healthy..

Preeti Kashyap said...

Thanks for sending this to me !

panchpakwan said...

Sounds so healthy and fresh salad.

Happy Cook said...

That looks so so good and healthy, but i have to tell you i have never made anything with orzo till now, each time i see in the shop i say to myself i should buy them. But till now have not done .

GayathriRaj said...

Hey first time to ur blog and i loved this dish tooo.....its really healthy and quick too...thanks for sharing this dish....

Red Chillies said...

We could use some cool weather here, it is getting very hot here. More like summer even though it is still spring. One can never be happy about the weather, can theyy ?

Spring orzo salad looks delicious.

Padhu said...

Yummy salad

Jagruti said...

lovely healthy salad !