ORZO SALAD

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Ingredients:
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 1/2 cups red grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • About 3/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Pour the broth into a heavy large saucepan. Cover the pan and bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cover partially and cook until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Drain the orzo through a strainer. Transfer the orzo to a large wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.

Toss the orzo with the tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation:

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Serves 6.

Adapted from Giadia De Laurentis/Food Network

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Photography by Kodamakitty

MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD with OLIVES and CAPERS

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups diced seeded plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped fresh fennel (about 1 medium bulb)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup drained capers
  • 16 ounces penne pasta

Preparation:

Whisk olive oil, tomato paste, vinegar, and garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Combine tomatoes, fennel, basil, onions, olives, and capers in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let tomato mixture stand at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, tossing occasionally.

Cook penne in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water and drain again. Transfer pasta to large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. Add tomato mixture and toss to blend.

Makes 12 servings.

From Bon App├ętit July 2003

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Photography by Nettsu

ITALIAN POTATO SALAD with ROSEMARY, LEMON AND CAPERS

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Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 8 tablespoons sliced green onions

Preparation:

Cook potato rounds in pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Cool potatoes slightly.

Whisk oil, lemon juice, capers, rosemary and garlic in medium bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Layer 1/4 of potatoes in bottom of medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons green onions over, then drizzle with 3 tablespoons dressing. Repeat layering 3 more times with remaining potatoes, salt and pepper, green onions and dressing. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.)

Serves 6.

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Photography by groxie

SHALLOT-SOY VINAIGRETTE

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Ingredients:
  • 1 cup grainy mustard
  • 8 medium shallots, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 Chinese black vinegar, or balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup naturally brewed rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to tast.

Preparation:

In a blender or food processor, combine the mustard, shallots, vinegars, soy sauce and sugar and puree. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil until an emulsion is formed. Season with salt and pepper, remembering that not much salt will be needed because of the soy sauce. Use or store. Lasts 2 weeks, refrigerated

Makes 3.5 cups.

From Simply Ming cookbook

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Photography by kykyru2