Well, my hope was to start making this little blog a little more interesting by making the dishes relevant to something in my life: a book I'm reading, for instance.
I have embarked on a personal journey to read "the classics" (no real parameters there - in fact, I'm taking suggestions), which should take me, oh, the rest of my life. Having just started Charlotte Bronte's Villette, I can't tell you with any certainty that this orzo dish has nothing to do with 1850's England, but my instinct is that Charlotte Bronte's characters have never heard of orzo.
Nevertheless, I still had an entire untouched bunch of asparagus from my farmer's market trip, and I wanted to use it. I had also bought some orzo awhile back which I was excited to use, as I haven't made orzo at home a lot.
This is a really simple dish that could be modified to fit whatever you need to use up in your fridge - the orzo makes a great base for a variety of veggies. This would be a great side dish to baked chicken or a pork chop - you could even throw some lemon-marinated shrimp on top. It would be great with black olives and feta, or with fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, and basil.
SPRING FARMER'S MARKET ORZO
6-7 asparagus stalks, ends trimmed, cut into smallish pieces
1 large bunch Spring mix salad greens, slightly chopped if leaves are large
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed, excess oil drained, chopped
1 1/2 T. capers
1 c. dry orzo
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
Roast or par-boil the asparagus until tender. Set aside.
Cook orzo in boiling water, reserving 1/2 c. cooking liquid. Cook until slightly less than al dente, then drain. Return to pot with the reserved cooking liquid.
Stir the Spring mix leaves into the orzo and cook, stirring, until the pasta is al dente and the leaves are wilted. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Serve and enjoy!
Perhaps I should start reading Italian literature, as I seem to make some variation of pasta about 4 times a week...then again, maybe not.
I'll let you all know how my pursuit of the classics is going. Thanks for reading! More soon...