I’ve shared a lot of recipes so far on Love and Duck Fat, but I can’t believe it’s taken me THIS LONG to share this one. You see, my orzo salad recipe is legendary (in my small circle of friends and family). It has actually made an appearance once on my blog before in photos, but I never got around to posting the recipe. You can see it here at my son’s first birthday party.
Orzo salad is one of the recipes I make over and over. I serve it at parties, I pack it up for lunch, we eat it for dinner, late night snacks and even the occasional breakfast–and we never tire of it.
The inspiration for my orzo salad recipe first came from Whole Food’s orzo salad; which is good. When I lived in Boston, I regularly picked up a pint of it on my way to work. I decided to improve on their recipe, which is why this salad is so much better. I make sure that every bite has something fresh and yummy in it. The mix of tastes and textures make this orzo salad so much fun to eat. There’s feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, baby spinach, artichokes, black olives, roasted peppers, balsamic vinegar and lots of good olive oil. I mix in fresh herbs like rosemary and mint and they really amp up the flavor.
Most of these ingredients are something I keep on hand in my pantry and refrigerator at all times, so it’s easy to make this salad whenever I want. It’s also easy to customize, adding or subtracting whatever you have on hand or desire.
Once made, this orzo salad keeps well too. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days and still be as good as when you first made it. Bring it to a pot luck or serve it at a barbecue this summer and see it disappear. Every time I make it, I get asked for the recipe, which is why I’m so happy to finally share it here with everyone on Love and Duck Fat.
If you do make this salad, I would love to hear how much you enjoyed it in the comment section below.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the water. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 7 minutes). Drain pasta and add it to a bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil and toss. Allow to cool completely.
Using a small skillet toast the pine nuts over medium-high heat until they are slightly brown and fragrant.
Toss the orzo with the pine nuts, tomato, onion, herbs, artichokes, olives, feta cheese, cucumber and red pepper.
Add the spinach leaves and vinaigrette. Toss again. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Artichoke and mushroom casserole
I’m taking it easy this Christmas. Since this is my first year with a food blog, I wasn’t prepared for the food-extravaganza going on in the food blogosphere this time of year. There is one. And it’s big. I am so ready to join in, and post amazing holiday recipes daily that will blow your socks off.
Yes, I’m sorry. But I know you won’t hold it against me.
It’s so hard to cook anything inspiring with a 1 year old. He’s getting easier, but he’s also on the verge of walking. Or running…so it’s going to get harder for a little while. Which is why I make recipes like this yummy artichoke and mushroom casserole. It’s easy, and good for several meals (depending on how big a family you have).
Artichokes are one of my favorite foods. So are mushrooms. Together, they are an impressive holiday dish or just some good home cooking. We all love some good home cooking.
If you want to make it on the lighter side, just omit the butter/crumb topping. For me, it doesn’t seem right to eat artichokes without some butter somewhere close by.
Preheat oven to 350°F/
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Add mushrooms and cook quickly, allowing them to brown, about 6 minutes, until they shrink in size and the juices are released and evaporated. Transfer mushrooms to a casserole dish.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the same pan the mushrooms were cooked. Stir to remove any pan drippings. Add the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 3 minutes (until flour is bubbly). Add the chicken broth and cook until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the cream and lemon juice. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper (and taste!).
Add the drained artichokes to the casserole dish. Pour the cream mixture on top and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is lightly browned.