Monday, January 16, 2006

A happy coincidence

Confetti Orzo Salad
365 Ways To Cook Pasta Copyright 1988

1 ½ cups orzo or other small solid pasta such as acini di pepe
1/3 cup light olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/8-inch dice
1 ¼ cups finely diced red, green and/or yellow bell pepper
½ cup peeled, seeded and finely diced cucumber
¼ cup finely chopped scallions
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
¼ cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley I used curly

1. Cook orzo in plenty of boiling, salted water until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain (in wire mesh strainer); rinse under cool water.
2. Whisk oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper and garlic until blended. Toss diced and chopped vegetables, orzo and dressing together. Serve warm or at room temperature. I think they meant cold or at room temp.

I chose this recipe only because I happened to have almost all of the ingredients, minus the orzo and lemon. It was odd that I had all of these veggies on hand at the same time. I really didn't expect to like this salad so much. I'm not a huge fan of raw veggies but I like them diced up small like this. I really liked the lemon dressing on this. I wouldn't plan to serve this for a hot dinner date though - between the garlic, onions and peppers you won't be forgetting you ate this anytime soon.

The other part of this happy coincidence is that I've been wanting to get in on Sweetnicks ARF/5-A-Day Tuesdays but I never remember in time to make a submission. I made this salad right in time to participate this week. However, when I looked back at the original 'challenge' nothing in this recipe was on her list of the Top 20 ARFs. Since everything in this except the orzo and the cucumbers is on this list of Top 100 Foods, and I believe the challenge includes all fruits and veggies, I hope this recipe is still acceptable. After all, we still need to look at the big picture when we eat and not concentrate on the latest and greatest nutrtional discovery.

Oh yes, this cookbook is from my days working in the book warehouse. I believe there's an entire collection of these '365 Ways...' books but this is the only one I own. It does have good recipes but no pictures and a poor design (ring-bound and the 'rings' tear the pages unless you're super careful) so I don't often take it off the shelf but I'll be giving it a closer look after this successful recipe.


Tricia said...

Hey, I have that cookbook, too! The first cookbook I ever owned (in 1987, just out of college) was "365 Ways to Cook Chicken" - I think it might have been the first "365 Ways". My husband bought me three more - including the pasta one - from a remainders table many years later. I've used 'chicken' and 'soups' extensively, but not the other two ('pasta' and something I'm forgetting...) I actually like the binding style, because the book can lie flat, but i do have a few pages in my chicken book that have ripped.

Cate said...

No worries - completely acceptable. It's officially AFR/5-A-Day to recognize anyone who gets in ARFs, fruits or veggies or any combination of the three. Thanks for joining in!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

I think I would love the chicken version of this book. I wonder if it's still in print. I'll definitely pick it up if I see it anywhere.

Shammi said...

wow, is that colourful or what! Looks gorgeous!

Kalyn Denny said...

Hey, I have that cookbook, plus a few others of the 365 Ways series. I may have to give them another look. This looks very good. I might substitute brown rice for orzo and I bet it would still be good.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

This is definitely a recipe that has lots of possibilities. I'm sure a lot of things could be substituted for the orzo, as it was only the backdrop here. I was even thinking that maybe mushrooms would be good if someone wanted to make this all-veggie.

Jennifer said...

I make this salad every year for a bbq and everyone loves it! I make it just as is.