Monday, September 27, 2010

Everything was so good I wasn't sure which recipe to post

Saturday I handed the kids a couple of cookbooks with instructions to pick something they wanted me to make on Sunday. Then after they had spent an hour or so scanning cookbooks I totally ignored their suggestions and picked my own recipes to cook. I just like to mess with their heads every once in awhile. 

There are so few joys in my life. Screwing with my kids has always been the one I've held onto the tightest. Held onto like it was the only life vest on the Titanic. 

What I picked for Sunday dinner was:

Sweet Potato Souffle

Baked Broccoli and Cauliflower
Orzo Salad

I adapted all the recipes from the Tastes & Treasures cookbook that was given to me by my friends and co-workers at the Arizona State Library. It is a cookbook of historic Arizona. To say I adapted them is to really say that I used the recipe as a guideline only, not so much a rule.

Every single one of the dishes (We'll be revisiting this cookbook in the near future.) came out so awesome I wasn't sure which one to post.  I'll give you the only one I had the presence of mind to take a photo of. 

Don't worry, this looks a whole lot scarier than it really is. It only takes 1 bowl, 1 fry pan, and 1 pot.

Orzo Salad

Dijon Vinaigrette
 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon onion, minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

 1 cup zucchini, sliced and halved
2 medium carrots, sliced
16 ounces orzo
8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons or 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, re-constituted and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
6 ounces reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup pine nuts, toasted

Grab yourself the biggest bowl you have. I'm not talking just a big mixing bowl. I'm talking the biggest pasta bowl you have ever seen. This recipe make enough to feed a small but respectable army. If you don't live with a small but respectable army you will want to cut this recipe in half. 

Make the vinaigrette in this bowl by whisking all the ingredients in the huge bowl in the order that I have listed them.
Cook the pasta as directed. While it is cooking prepare your veggies. In a large fry pan on medium heat cook the carrots for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini. Cook for 3 more minutes. Add the onion, cook for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for another couple of minutes. Add to the big bowl with the vinaigrette. Sniff. Isn't that wonderful?

Drain pasta. Add to big bowl with the vinaigrette and veggies.

Add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed. I toasted my pine nuts in the same cast iron fry pan that I cooked the veggie in. See, not so scary.

Toss. Serve at room temperature. 

This could be made ahead then refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature when you are ready to serve. Like I said, this recipe makes a boat load of salad. If you've got a potluck, family picnic or small invasion planned I'd take this salad. If I had to guess, I'd say that as this recipe is written it serves a good dozen or more people.

It was wonderful and I ate too much and I plan to eat too much for lunch for the next week. 


PS: this is your Meatless Monday recipe though I'm not strict on the Monday thing. Any day this week works for me.


  1. Girl, your comment section is IFFY today! Been trying since this morning!

  2. I am SO going to make that vinaigrette.

  3. Hmmmmm..I wonder what was up with the comments. The only thing I did was upgrade my blogger. it makes sense. Blogger can be a piece of crap.

  4. I love your recipes. the goat cheese and pasta is a staple on our week night menu. We are huge meat-eaters, but are trying to reduce consumption. Thanks for helping!
    Lazy Mom

  5. It's a sort of paella without the fish and bits. You might try a teaspoon of fennel seeds.
    I glad you mentioned the Army for I was getting a bit worried with your pint of vinaigrette. But I'd love to know what the teaspoon of white wine vinegar was expected to do against the lemon. Are you sure you have them the correct way round, is it not that the teaspoon of lemon will instil a dimension to the wine vinegar.

  6. Oh, on the comment's thing you were not the only one that was flagging an error message. It was fairly widespread in blogger.

  7. I couldn't leave a comment yesterday either - but I was having that same trouble on ALL Blogger blogs, so it wasn't just you. ;)

    YUM!!! I am SO going to invite myself over to dinner at your house - everything sounds wonderful!! :)

    I'll bring wine! ;)

  8. I havent made this recipe in a long time. Time to reintroduce it!!