17 October 2009

Throw It in a Bowl

When I'm feeling tired (and yeah, a little lazy), I don't exactly want to spend much time cooking. But alas, we all need to eat, and quite frankly, a peanut butter sandwich is hardly my idea of dinner. Fortunately, a couple handfuls of dried orzo was inspiration enough to throw together a light meal, using ingredients I almost always have in my refrigerator and pantry. Because the tiny pasta can go with practically anything, I basically threw whatever sounded pasta-salad appropriate into a bowl and deemed it dinner-worthy. There was minimal chopping, and the only cooking involved boiling the orzo and toasting pignoli. Thank goodness for the jarred artichokes, black olives, and sundried tomatoes.
While toasting a handful of pignoli in a dry pan and boiling about 2/3 c of orzo in salted water according to the package directions, I gathered up the rest of my ingredients: the aforementioned jarred items (artichokes, black olives, sundried tomatoes), two green onions, two garlic cloves, dried cranberries, tofu feta (made earlier from a recipe in Carole Raymond's Student's Go Vegan Cookbook), a few fresh basil leaves, and a leftover lemon half. I eyeballed the amounts of the jarred stuff, drained them, chopped the artichokes and tomatoes into small pieces, and sliced the olives in half lengthwise. I finely chopped the basil, garlic, and green onions, and cut the tofu feta into small cubes. Everything went into a bowl. Once the orzo was done, I drained it and added to the bowl as well and gave it all a quick mix to keep the orzo from sticking to itself. After a squeeze of lemon juice, a grind or two of black pepper, and a sprinkling of dried cranberries, I gave the whole thing a last toss. The resulting orzo salad was tangy from all of the brined ingredients, a bit spicy from the fresh garlic and pepper, and sweet from the sundried tomatoes and cranberries. The pignoli added that nuttiness I love so much, while the basil and lemon matched perfectly to add some freshness to the dish. The whole thing was so fast and easy to make. Had I been hungrier, I probably would have eaten this as a side dish, but it was fine for my quick and light meal.


  1. Mmmmm I LOVE pasta salad and this looks really good

  2. Mmmmm I LOVE pasta salad and this looks really good


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