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02 June 2005

Fun with Orzo

Orzo_1Back in the day when I was in Albania, I ate a whole lot of Orzo.  Since that time, I don't believe I've even eaten Orzo once.  This recipe got me all misty eyed and nostalgic for Shqiperi.  Try it with an easy-drinking Torrontes or bubbly.

Orzo Pasta Salad (modified from epicurious.com)

12 oz orzo
2 T; plus 1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups crumbled seasoned feta cheese (such as basil and tomato; about 6 ounces)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
4 green onions, chopped

3 T fresh lemon juice
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 t Dijon mustard
1 t ground cumin

3 T toasted pine nuts

Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add crumbled feta cheese, chopped bell peppers, Kalamata olives, and green onions.

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, mustard and cumin in small bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Add dressing to orzo mixture and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Cover and refrigerate for an hour or more)

Garnish salad with pine nuts; serve.

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