Thursday, June 2, 2016

Orzo--Pasta In Disguise

Orzo. It looks like rice. But it's pasta. (This looks a little like brown rice. The brown color is coming from the balsamic vinegar.) If you haven't used it, now is a good time to give it a try. I read someone's comment a few days ago (On Instagram, maybe? Or, a comment on someone's blog?) when people were answering a request for summer food suggestions. The person commenting sort of told how she made this salad. Not a recipe as much as an idea. You certainly can make any adjustments that you want. It's that kind of recipe.

I thought about adding halved grape tomatoes. Toasted pine nuts would be another possible addition. Or diced cucumber. But I went with plain and simple this time. Part of the charm (besides being delicious) is that is was so simple. Not much chopping required. Not many ingredients in the dressing. It was just easy.

We had it for supper and had plenty left. Probably enough for the next couple of days. Here is my version of the comment I read:


1/2  box (16-oz) orzo, cooked according to package directions
1/2 bag (5-oz) baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/3 cup chopped red onion (use the amount that you want)
4-oz. container crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper (I used a few grinds of fresh pepper)

While orzo is cooking, mix the dressing--oil, vinegar, basil, pepper. Set aside.
Drain orzo thoroughly when done. Stir in chopped onion, spinach and feta. Whisk dressing again. Pour dressing over the pasta and mix to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

You can tell that this is easily doubled if you are feeding a crowd. This was more than enough for the two of us. I think we could have served about 6 (as a side dish) with this recipe.

We had grilled chicken, sauteed zucchini and squash for supper along with the orzo. It was a very good meal. I would do this again. Even for a company dinner. It was really good. I'm happy to have a new summer recipe.


All of these years in the kitchen and I had never gotten a stain from balsamic vinegar. Until now. Somehow I managed to splatter vinegar onto my new light blue pants. I took the pants off as soon as I saw the stain and rinsed the stain in cold water. That did nothing. Didn't even lighten it.

Then I sprayed the spots (big ones and tiny ones) with Oxy-Clean. The spots began to lighten immediately. I kept adding more spray and watching. The tiny spots disappeared. But while the two bigger spots lightened, they didn't go away.

After I rinsed the spots under running cold water, I poured on white distilled vinegar and rubbed in Tide liquid detergent (the HE kind). It faded a little more. I continued checking every few minutes and treating with more vinegar and Tide. I also treated the stain from the wrong side of the fabric. And finally, the biggest spot was gone. And the pants went into the washing machine. Whew! The pants look as good as new. (Which they are.)

I've always considered myself a stain removal master. But I must say that this is one of the hardest stains I have ever worked with. BE CAREFUL with the balsamic!


  1. The balsamic vinegar stain sounded like a doozy!

    1. Right up there with mustard or curry. Thankful it finally came out. We had leftover orzo salad last night. Even better than the first time!

  2. Made the orzo tonight (well, Lindsay made it for me) - delicious!!! A winner.

    1. Isn't it good? I need to make half the recipe for just the two of us. And the original "recipe" that I read made more than twice this much! That would be good for a crowd.


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