Tuesday, June 10, 2008

summer sides

I'm always on the search for good side dishes for weeknight dinners.
To be a contender for the weeknight menu its got to be
1) fast and 2)easy.
I don't have a lot of time on weeknights and I don't want to mess with a fussy recipe.
I don't want to have to buy special ingredients that I don't normally stock on my shelves either.
When I saw this recipe, I think it fits the bill.
and just look how pretty it is!

I love Orzo.
Why? Because its not rice, its pasta. But it looks and feels like rice and only takes a few minutes to prepare instead of the 40 minutes it takes to cook rice.
I usually cook orzo in some chicken stock for flavor but this recipe doesnt call for that. Probably because its more of a cold summer salad than a warm side dish. Either way, orzo is good stuff.
I also love arugula. If you haven't tried it, you should. Its a lettuce, but spicy. Kind of peppery. I mix it in with my salad greens mostly. If you have bought some of these spring greens prebagged mixes, its probably in there. And whats not to love about anything with basil and pine nuts.
This will definitely be added to the summer meal rotation.

Tri-Colore Orzo Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 cup
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (or feta cheese)
1/2 cup dried cherries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and put the pasta on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle the pasta with 3 tablespoons olive oil, toss, spread out, and set aside to cool.
Once the orzo is cool, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Serve.


Suzelle said...

This makes my mouth water.....YUM !!!!!!!

Mo said...

Holy YUM-O!!!!! I *will* be making this. Thanks, Susan!