Monday, September 1, 2008

Orzo and Avocado Salad

Kosher salt
Good olive oil
1/2 box of tri colored orzo
1/2 cup lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, medium-diced
1/2 cup small-diced red onion

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo, reduce heat to medium, and stir occasionally to break up the pasta, until it's cooked al dente. It takes about 10-15 minutes until the orzo is cooked. Drain and pour into a large bowl.

Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Chop the avacado into medium square pieces. Chop the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, and onion, and add to the orzo. Add 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to the orzo. Toss well. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight.

Delights and Afterthoughts:

One of my favorite chefs is Ina Garten. She does the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. I own most of them, and I even own her videos. Her recipes are amazing. They are usually never healthy, and definitely not vegan, but delicious! You can really never go wrong with whatever you make. This is one of the recipes that I would always make, but it usually calls for roasted shrimp. I decided I wanted to make this for the tailgate, and instead of shrimp I decided to add avacado. I wasn't looking for a meat substitute or anything that tasted like shrimp. I chose to use avacado because it has a heavier consistancy, and I knew the avacado would definitely mix well with the dressing and other vegetables added to this pasta. Plus, I just love avacado. The original recipe also calls for feta cheese, but I have actually never used it, and this pasta salad is always a big hit. People love it. It's really easy, and now that you don't have to peel, devain, and roast shrimp, it's less time consuming and much cheaper to make. I highly suggest this, so try it out. Let me know what you think!


Ren said...

OH this looks FANTASTIC! I loooooove me some avocado!!!!!

cassbella said...

that looks beautiful! I'm a fan of Ina, too, but it's awesome that even after going veg*n, many recipes can still be adapted.

I also agree that the term "protein substitute" be removed from our language...tofu/tempeh/setain/etc...are not substitutes for protein, they are protein!