Monday, November 14, 2011

Orzo with Feta, Arugula and Cranberries

Orzo with Feta, Arugula and Cranberries

In the month of November we all know and look forward to having Thanksgiving. But if you are looking for inspiration for the other 29 meals that also happen this month, look no further. This time of year, it's easy to eat rather heavily, isn't it? What with all the potatoes and bacon being in season and all. What? Bacon is always in season. But if you are looking for fall flavors without the guilt may I suggest this orzo? It's earthy, easy, and tart-sweet and savory. It can be a lunch, a side dish or a main for dinner, like we ate it. You can even go crazy and add some chicken if you are the poultry eating type.

Or turkey (leftovers?) But we weren't going to Thanksgiving on this post, were we? Dang.

You can also make this with whole wheat orzo if you can find it. The nuttiness would be really great here. Eating a big bowl of orzo for dinner alone sound weird to you? It shouldn't. It's no different than a big bowl of pasta, only healthier because of the ingredients therein. So pop in a movie, snuggle in on the couch with your sweetie, or friend and enjoy your orzo straight up. Stuff is addicting.

Orzo with Feta, Arugula and Cranberries

Orzo with Feta, Arugula and Cranberries
adapted from a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis via Week of Menus
Serves 6-8 as a side
Serves 4 for a main meal

1 pound orzo pasta
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for tossing the pasta
2 cups fresh arugula (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2/3 cup dried cranberries
12 fresh basil leaves, torn
13 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
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. Toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and let cool slightly.

Mix together in a bowl, 1/3 cup olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside.

While the orzo is still slightly warm, transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, including dressing and toss gently to combine. Serve. The arugula will wilt slightly from the heat of the orzo, which is exactly what you want.

Jingle...Jingle- Stay tuned. I have a rather big giveaway coming...