13 January, 2015

Recipe: Orzo Pasta Salad with Smoked Salmon and Roasted Vegetables

With as cold as it has been, I need something to remind me that Spring is coming, and with it comes sunshine and planting in the garden.  The garden brings a bounty that makes me wish Summer will never end.  I need brightly colored food loaded with vegetables to get me through the winter doldrums.  If you can relate then you will love this Mediterranean inspired Recipe.  I have used ingredients that you should be able to find even in the dead of winter.

This is what I need! Sand, Sun and Surf...better than Snow, Snow and Snow!

Feel free to play around with the vegetables that you have on hand. Just be sure to cut them and cook them in bite size pieces. Although it is not my favorite vegetable you could just as easily add Eggplant.

*If you are shopping within 100 miles you may want to omit the cucumber from the dressing.  That is fine, it will still make a lovely dressing.  You can add mint or basil for added flavor if you wish instead of the cucumber.

Orzo Pasta Salad with Smoked Salmon and Roasted Vegetables
Serves 6
Greek Dressing (see recipe below)
1 ½ Cups Orzo Pasta
4 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 Cup Zucchini, diamonds
1 Cup Carrots, coins
Dill for garnish
Smoked Salmon

Bring stock to boil and add Orzo.  Cook until al dente.
Drain and set aside in large bowl, tossing frequently until cooled.
Saute the carrots for in a medium size saute pan with 2 TBSP of olive oil over high heat for 5 minutes or until golden brown.  After the carrots are seared reduce to low heat, and add enough water to just cover the carrots. Simmer for 10 minutes until tender.  Set aside to cool.
*To cut diamonds cut the end of the zucchini at a 45º angle with the point of the knife facing the opposite end of the zucchini/ towards your other hand.  Roll the zucchini ¼ turn  away from you and cut again at a 45º angle ½ inch from the previous cut.  Continue until you have cut the whole zucchini.
Saute the zucchini in a medium size saute pan with 2 TBSP of olive oil over high heat for 5 minutes or until golden brown and starting to soften, but still have texture. Set aside to cool.
Add to the large bowl with the orzo the dressing and roasted vegetables, tossing until everything is lightly coated.
Spread onto a serving platter and arrange slices of smoked salmon around the platter.  Garnish with dill sprigs.

Keeps for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.

Ingredients for the Greek Dressing
2 Cups Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 clove Garlic
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill, 1 teaspoon if using dried
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Directions for Dressing:
Cut the cucumber into smaller chunks and combine with other ingredients in the blender.
Blend until smooth. Season with Salt and Pepper to Taste.
Transfer to a container with a lid and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Dressing will keep in the refrigerator, covered up to a week.  Stir before use.

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