Thursday, July 16, 2015

Recipe #89: Macrina Bakery Orzo Salad

I have been making this orzo salad for the past 15 years, thanks to Leslie Mackie, owner of Macrina Bakery in Seattle.  This recipe is outstanding, and has such a freshness...all you need to complete a summer dinner with this is some wine, bread and perhaps a light dessert.  I was going suggest a lemon dessert, but this salad has lemon in it.  That said, I will anyway and suggest a nice lemon sour cream mousse.  Once you have your prep work done, this all comes together in minutes.  It not only looks beautiful, it keeps for 2-3 days and the taste of all these ingredients is fantastic.  Now, let's cook.

1 cup chopped walnuts                                     1 cucumber, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, cut into                  1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
   1/2" square pieces                                         1/2 cup diced scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil                             1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley (flat leaf)
1 1/4 cups crumbled feta cheese                      1/3 cup lemon vinaigrette
1 1/2 cups dry orzo pasta                                 1 tbsp olive oil


1 tbsp Dijon mustard                                       2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice             1 tsp honey
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest                      1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp kosher salt                                               1/8 tsp pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a medium bowl.  Mix well with a whisk.  Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking as you pour.  Continue whisking until the dressing has emulsified, then cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Fill a large saucepan with water.  Add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Drop in the pasta and cook according to directions on box.  Remove pan from heat and drain the pasta in a sieve (it will go through a colander, so don't do that).  Run under cold water until cool and shake to remove excess water.  Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with olive oil to prevent sticking.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine.  Add the vinaigrette and stir again.  Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.  Bon appetit!

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