February 6, 2014 by branchingfig
When I was working at the bakery, most days I didn’t have time to warm up food or eat a big lunch. I’d get in early, work late, and get hungry. Like all-caps hungry. Like want-to-shove-the-cake-I-was-working-on-into-my-mouth-even-though-I’d-just-spent-hours-decorating-it hungry. Luckily, the bakery made an insanely good orzo salad that I’d shovel into my mouth almost every day. I’m not usually a big fan of pasta salads – they tend to be too oily or too dry or too drenched in mayo. But this orzo salad hit the spot. It was light yet filling, refreshing yet nourishing. And so simple to make.
These days, I throw together a similar dish when I don’t have time to make a big dinner – like last night. It’s an easy one bowl dish, packed with flavor. This is a great basic recipe, which you can adjust depending on what you have in your fridge. Don’t have (or like) feta? Substitute grated parmesan. Have broccoli or zucchini you want to use up? Roast ’em and toss ’em in. Want to dress it up and take it to a party? Add chopped artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Like it spicy? Add red chile flakes. Presto! Dinner is served.
- 2 cups cooked orzo
- 1/3 cup minced red onion
- 1 diced tomato
- 1 diced Persian cucumber (about ½ cup)
- ½ diced pepper
- 10 slices chopped salame
- 2 cups loosely chopped fresh spinach
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
- ¾ teaspoon lemon juice
- 5 leaves diced basil
- ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl, and toss.
What’s your favorite quick dinner dish?