New-School Orzo Salad
Orzo salad travels well, and makes a great side or substantial lunch or dinner topped with leftover fish, grilled chicken or jammy soft-boiled eggs. Romanesco is a member of the brassica family; it looks like pale green cauliflower covered with pointy Christmas trees. If you’re a fan of fresh mint, add some along with the spinach.
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1½ cups uncooked orzo pasta
2 to 3 cups baby spinach leaves
½ small romanesco or cauliflower, separated into small florets
¼ small red onion, finely chopped
½ cup crumbled feta
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 to 4 eggs (optional)
Cook orzo according to the package directions; in the last minute or two of cooking, add romanesco to pot to blanch it.
Drain well, running under cool water to stop it from cooking, and transfer to a bowl. Meanwhile, if you want jammy eggs, lower them into a saucepan of boiling water and cook for exactly 7 minutes; run under cool water and peel once they’re cool enough to handle, and cut in half lengthwise when you’re ready for them.
Tear or thinly slice your spinach into the bowl, along with onion, feta and lemon zest. Squeeze lemon juice over the salad, and drizzle with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat well. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
If you like, nestle the soft-boiled egg halves on top.