Welcome to Denver

Tonight, we’re having Ashley and Jim over for dinner. Many moons ago, Ashley and I lived together in the GRAB house at Gettysburg. They have recently relocated from HAWAII and Jim will be teaching at DSST’s new campus. Welcome to Denver, you guys! I think you will love it here.

On the menu..

Orzo Salad, Berry Salad, and Ice Cream Pie. Oh yeah, and some sort of meat on the grill (but that’s Marc’s territory)

Since being introduced to orzo salad last summer (thank you, Jaren!), I’ve experimented only slightly. Last week, I modified a version found on a blog and it was fabulous! Soaking the orzo in the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice enhances the flavor in a lasting kind of way. My modifications are listed below:

Ingredients

16 ounces (~455 g) orzo or other small pasta
1/4 cup (~60 mil) olive oil
1/3 cup (~80 mil) plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup (~60 mil) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
2 pints (~680 g) grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup drained capers (optional)
1/2 cup (~20 g) lightly packed chopped BASIL leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cucumber

Preparation

1. Bring about 3 quarts of water to boil in the large pot. Add salt and the orzo and cook until al dente. Drain well in the mesh strainer, then pour hot orzo into the mixing bowl.

2. While the orzo cooks, stir together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the small bowl. Pour the mixture over the hot orzo and toss. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

3. Add the olives, grape tomatoes, onion, capers, and parsley, and stir well. Season with fresh ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

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