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!
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
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!