Monday, August 29, 2016

Two Orzo Salads...and One Rice Salad - that are REALLY Good!

Our wonderful Goddaughter, Hailey, had a combined 25th birthday party and "We're leaving the East Coast and Moving to San Francisco" party this past Saturday night for around 70 of her and her Peter's nearest and dearest folks. 
Needless to say, her mom and all of us were all knee-deep in food preparation! While Jules (and daughters Hailey & Lauren) took care of the protein side of the meal, my crew took care of the salads! Daughter Brynnly, old nanny Sheila (who has been in the family for around 30 years now), other-daughter Kat and I rocked out 4 salads! I made the top roasted veggie salad, Sheila made the lemony orzo salad with cucumber and feta, Brynnly and I made the panzanella salad (photos were horrid, not going there!) and we all made the rice & veggie salad. Nice thing about all of these is they can be changed to make bigger and/or smaller amounts to fit the number of folks you're feeding. 

The Throw 'n Go:

orzo w/roasted veggies, feta and pine nuts
2 eggplants, cut into 1" cubes
1 each green, orange and yellow peppers, cut into 1" cubes
2 red peppers, cut into 1" cubes
1 large red onion, cut into 1" cubes
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 lbs. orzo, cooked to perfection, and drained
1 lb. block of feta, chuncked
more crumbled feta to taste
1/2 C. or so toasted pine nuts
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 2 lemons
handful of fresh basil leaves, julienned
olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425ยบ.
Place all veggies in a  bowl and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread over 1 or 2 cookie sheets and put in the oven. Roast for around 40 or so minutes, until veggies are well and done.  In a large bowl, combine the cooked orzo and veggies. Just before serving, stir in the feta chunks, pine nuts and basil. Dress the salad with lemon juice and olive oil. Stir to mix, taste to correct seasonings.
Serve at room temperature.

(Original recipe from Sarah Leah Chase)

orzo w/cucumbers, lemon zest and feta

1 lb. orzo, cooked and drained, al dente
olive oil to lightly coat the pasta
juice and zest of 1 to 2 lemons, your choice
1 large English cucumber, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 - 1 C. or so crumbled feta cheese
handful fresh mint, chopped (optional)
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Toss cooked pasta with the rest of the ingredients. Taste and correct seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

Original recipe from Fork Knife Swoon.
rice & veggie salad

4 C. cooked and still warm Basmti rice
2 recipes (plus more) "Our Favorite Vinaigrette"
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange or yellow pepper, diced (or both)
1 medium red onion, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 package frozen petite peas, not thawed
handful fresh dill, chopped
handful fresh basil, julienned
handful fresh parsley, chopped

Put warm rice in a big bowl and toss with 1 recipe of "our favorite vinaigrette".  After the rice cools, mix in the veggies and toss with more vinaigrette. Taste and correct for seasonings.

This calls for at least 2 recipes of "Our Favorite Vinaigrette".

"Our Favorite Vinaigrette"
2 T. Dijon mustard
8 T. red wine or balsamic vinegar
2 t. sugar
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 C. or so olive oil

Whisk all together to combine.

Original recipe, tweaked a lot by my sis and I, from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukens and Julee Rosso

As for the Panzanella, that's a recipe in the making....not worth posting....yet!


till we feast again!


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