Friday, April 25, 2008

Toasted Orzo Salad


Orzo is one of my favorite things to eat! If you don't know what it is, it's a pasta that's shaped like rice. My favorite way to eat orzo is in salads (pasta salad type dishes). I guess that's why I tend to think of eating it more in the warmer weather months.

This particular dish involves toasting the orzo in oil to add a slightly nutty background flavor to the dish which is really delightful. I used basically whatever vegetables I happened to have on hand on that day, so feel free to substitute whatever you like in this dish! I went with a very simple springtime flavor mix of asparagus, roasted red peppers, and peas accented with garlic and lemon.

This salad is perfect for entertaining, too because it can be served cold or at room temperature. For the same reason, it's perfect for road trips or picnics! Hence, I'm sending this straight over to Easycrafts' Fun in the Sun event.


FYI, leftovers make a great cold lunch the next day!

Ingredients:

Orzo - 3/4 cup
Red onion - 1 small, rough chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped finely
Red bell pepper - 1 medium, roasted, peeled and rough chopped
Frozen peas - 1/2 cup, defrosted
Asparagus - 1 cup, cut into large pieces (about 1 inch long)
Lemon juice - 1 tsp, or to taste
Water - 1 1/4 cups to 1 1/2 cups
Chili garlic sauce - 1 tbsp, or to taste
Salt to taste
Oil


Method:


Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the orzo and let it toast to a pale golden color. Then, add the onion, garlic, and asparagus. Saute until the veggies are crisp-tender. Now, add the water, peas, and salt to the same pan. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pot. Allow the water to absorb into the orzo. (Note: You may need a little more water depending on the heat level you're using. Be careful not to use too much water or else the pasta will get mushy on you.) At this point, transfer the orzo to a bowl and add chili garlic sauce to taste along with lemon juice and roasted peppers. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature!



I was so excited to find out that I'd won best presentation for VOTW bittergourd. In fact, I was jumping up and down like a little kid when I was telling my husband about it! Thanks so much to each and every one of you that voted for me. I cannot put into words how good it feels! It seems like just yesterday that I started my little blog. I really appreciate everyone's support and encouragement as well as your brilliant ideas (cooking and otherwise). I find myself learning something new from you all each day!

32 comments:

Cham said...

Oh so sweet Kalai! U deserve such an award! I guess we re all going to end up eating orzo if the rice shortage continue.... By the way, this bowl of salad is beautiful too:)

Dhivya said...

Perfect salad for sun n fun event kalai:)))looks so tempting!surprise waiting for u in my blog...check out and enjoy!!!!

Uma said...

the salad looks simply great. once again congrats on the well deserved award, Kalai!

kamala said...

salad is looking beautiful kalai.

indosungod said...

Congrats on the award! that was a tasty dish you made with bitter gourd. Pasta salads are not my cup of tea but it sure looks attractive.

Meera said...

What a great idea of toasted orzo salad.

Congratulations on your well deserved award. May you get many more.

Pravs said...

orzo is new for me. Pic is tempting...colourful with veggies. Congrats of the award !

Madhavi said...

Congratulations on the well deserved award Kalai :))))

Salad looks great and love that pic!!!Keep up the good work..

easycrafts said...

Orzo is new to me....Thanks for sending in this salad to the event and ya, Congrats on the award, you truly deserve it

Sig said...

Congrats on the award Kalai, totally well deserved... :) And the salad looks great too, I love pasta salads...

sra said...

Congratulations, and celebrations ... the orzo pic is nice too!

Suganya said...

Your bitter gourd masala is already bookmarked, Kalai. Recently I got some gourds, but made pitai instead. What to do, the temptation was too much :D

ANJALI J. said...

congrats, im so happy for u.. u deserve this award.. the recipe was really good.

Divya Vikram said...

Hi..You have been tagged by me..check out my blog..Participate only if u wish

Revathi said...

with rice becoming a rare commodity I think orzo would become mock-rice !!

TBC said...

This bitter gourd recipe of yours has been on my "must try" list since you posted it.

Congrats!

Daily Meals said...

Love the bowl. Healthy salad...Congrats on your award Kalai!

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

This is a cool salad..... That bowl is beautiful.... Nice picture... Congrats on the award... Love the salad...

Lisa said...

An appealing blend of flavors indeed! Orzo is worthy of my attentions. I regret I have neglected the possibilities thus far.

Homecooked said...

Hey congrats on the award.You totally deserved it :) And the salad looks refreshing and yummy! I didnt know orzo was rice shaped salad.Will pick it up next time.

jayasree said...

Congrats on the well deserved award.
You have a surprise waiting on my blog.

bee said...

i've never eaten orzo. toasting it is a great idea this salad may work with a host of other grains.

Cynthia said...

The salad looks beautiful presented in that bowl. I like the lighting on the photograph as well.

Asha said...

Orzo is a kind of pasta, I love it too. Photo is so good Kalai!:))
Congratulations on the award too, will try when I get Karela next time.

Prema Sundar said...

Orzo salad is new to me. looks very nice ..would love to try it sometimes.
congrats on the award.

jj said...

This salad sound wonderful and healthy, too if you use olive oil. Thanks!

Kalai said...

Sorry that I wasn't able to respond to each comment as I normally do. Was caught up with some family stuff. Thanks to each and every one of you for the kind words and neverending encouragement! :)

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

CONGRATS.........am thrilled that you won it!! You deserve it all the way & more. This recipe is beutiful & full on flavour, & the clarity of the pictures is great! What camera do you use? :0) Deeba

Mansi Desai said...

this salad looks gorgeous Kalai! brilliant idea...and congrats on a well-deserved award girl! roots and cheers!:)

Kalai said...

Deeba, you're asking me about my camera?! Wow... Your pics are so mind blowing that this came as a surprise! I use a Nikon D60 - my husband's new toy. Glad you're liking the pics. :)

Mansi, thanks so much!! You're a sweetheart. :)

Andhra Flavors said...

Yes really, leftovers make a great cold lunch the next day.

Archana said...

Simply delish salad and so filling as a meal - that I would love for you to send this to my ONE DISH MEAL event i am hosting. The details are the link below
http://www.archanaskitchen.com/2008/uncategorized/monthly-one-dish-event-meals/