Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Orzo Salad

Speaking of feeding an army ...

My very large family of brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews (especially on my mother's side), gather every two years at West Point, N.Y., for the Air Force at Army football game. My late Dad retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel, so my side of the family cheers for the Falcons. But my mom's family is largely Army affiliated, so they cheer for the Black Knights.

But we combine forces every two years for a reunion weekend that includes some and Air Force - Army traditions and, of course, a tailgate party. My sister Margaret this year brought an Orzo Salad that was a big hit.

Quarter cup red vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
Half cup olive oil
6 cups chicken broth
1 pound orzo
2 cups red and/or yellow grape or teardrop tomatoes, halved
7 oz. feta cheese cut into small cubes
1 cup chopped basil
1 cup chopped green onions

1) Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and honey
2) Gradually whisk in the olive oil
3) Season with salt and pepper
4) Cover and refrigerate (can be made up to 2 days ahead)
5)Bring broth to a boil and stir in orzo
6) Reduce heat to medium, cover partially and boil until tender but firm to the bite
7) Drain orzo, transfer to a bowl and toss to cool.
8)Mix in tomatoes, feta, basil and green onions
9) Mix in dressing
10) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Margaret advises you can also add a half cup toasted pine nuts at the last minute if you’d like, but not for a crowd of people if she doesn't know who might or might not have allergies.
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