Wednesday, April 28, 2010

orzo salad(s)

Poor, pathetic picture. My apologies.

I do so many different variations of orzo salad and I've got to say (while tooting my own horn for a minute) that every single one of them kills it. Everybody likes orzo salad. It's an easy win. And more often than not, when you find yourself in the predicament of "What should I serve with grilled ________?" the answer can pretty much always default to orzo salad.*

Alongside a grilled New York Strip Steak with grilled fennel, the orzo salad I made last week was rocking diced shallots, plenty of lemon zest and juice, parsley, olive oil, and a goat's milk brie that we diligently brought to the island (over two flights) while making sure to keep it well chilled with ice. Clearly, we love cheese. We love cheese that much. Tossed together while still slightly warm, the orzo immediately melted the goat's milk brie giving it that lovely tang and creamy mouth feel. It was a pretty fantastic combination.

And when leftover orzo salad is packed up in a cooler and tossed with a bit of tuna salad with grated carrot and onion, you're looking at a mighty fine lunch at the beach alongside an icy water bottle filled with lemonade and the promise of a Medalla Light at sunset.

Vacations need to happen more often.

Typically, I'll go the Mediterranean route with my orzo salad by adding in chopped cucumber, red onion, black olives, craisins, chopped spinach, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and crumbled feta. Served up with grilled steak (or salmon, etc.) and some tzatziki on the side and you're looking at one of my go-to Summer meals. If you've come over for dinner, I've made this for you. At least once.

Another variation? Add chopped red onion and radicchio to a bowl of cooked orzo. Then make a dressing with a spoonful of orange marmalade, some grated garlic, a dash of white balsamic, and whisk in some olive oil. Drizzle the dressing on top to taste and serve up alongside turkey or beef burgers topped with melted Taleggio and baby arugula and you'll want to hit me. The combination is nearly freaky it's so good. Taleggio meets radicchio meets orange meets arugula. Write that down. And never forget it. That combination will win you hearts. Forget filet mignon. You wanna win a man's heart? Serve him a burger. A really, really good burger with a salad that's got a flavor profile he'll never forget.

It's all in the details, is it not?

*I do, however, make a pretty killer potato salad. So more to come on that later.

1 comment:

meleary said...

Love love love your orzo salads! Thanks for the new recipes. They are simple to make, enjoyable to eat, and great to have as leftovers.


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