Thursday, July 03, 2014

Beautiful Beetle and Orzo Salad!

There are so many things going on in the summer.  Perhaps I should start sharing again! No promises but here we go...

First, since this could be the inspiration for a bead at some point, I will share this picture of a beetle that was crawling around on the gas pump this afternoon when I stopped to fill the tank.  Isn't it beautiful?

But, the real thing I wanted to share today was a recipe.  Years ago, at the Landis Valley Herb Faire, Friday night was a special reception - not really open to the public, just for press and specially invited guests. I forget what food was served, but I do remember the May wine!

The event as a whole was much, much smaller than it is now and there was also a special herbal luncheon served on the day of the event. I believe it was all free to the vendors too.

I was mulling over various salads and other sides to make for our little 4th of July celebration and remembered that I had the recipe for this wonderful zucchini/orzo salad which was one of the most popular things I think they ever served at Landis Valley (except for the wine.)

My basil was ready, so I picked up the ingredients I needed and put it together.  You may want to try it too.

Zucchini & Orzo Salad with Basil

4 Med. Zucchini, coarsely grated
1# Orzo pasta
2 T Salt
8 C Chicken broth
2 C (packed) fresh basil
1/2 C Olive Oil
3 medium garlic cloves
1/4 C fresh Lemon juice
ground black pepper
1 C imported Kalamata olives
Basil sprigs

Drain grated zucchini in colander. Sprinkle with 1 T salt.  Let drain 30 min.  Stir or shake twice. Squeeze dry. Transfer to large bowl. Fluff with hands or fork to separate.
Basil and olive oil in processor 1 minute, drop garlic in and blend.
Add basil mix to zucchini.
Bring chicken broth to oil in medium saucepan.  Stir in 1 T salt and orzo.  Return to oil. Simmer 10-12 minutes until orzo is tender. Drain.
Stir orzo and zucchini mixture together and cool to room temp.
Just before serving, stir in lemon juice and zest (if desired.) Season with pepper. Garnish with olives.
I will cut the olives into halves before adding.

I only made half this recipe and I have shown it in my middle sized casserole dish so you can see how much it makes.  If it turns out as good as I remember, I should have made the full recipe!  The lemon and olives are waiting to be added.

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