I will admit that I bought some of the ingredients for this salad on a total whim! I was in the pasta aisle in the grocery store when what should appear to my wandering eye but pasta on sale, 3 for $5. How can I say no? It’s like a Buy One Get One Half Off sale on shoes. You can’t pass it up. So I tossed the pasta I was there for into the cart and I tossed in another box of a kind I knew we would need eventually and then I decided to toss in the orzo in hopes of making this salad eventually.
I was inspired by a former coworker who now teaches at a different school. Whenever we had potluck type gatherings she would bring this salad. I always asked for the recipe but got the ever classic, “Oh! It’s so easy! I just toss a little of this and a little of that in and viola!” Argh! I don’t do well with that type of response when I’ve never made the recipe. So I searched all over the internet for a recipe that sounded like it would taste similar to the fabulous salad Sue always brought. I added a few extra ingredients to the recipe to suit my own tastes. I thought it turned out wonderful. I suggest making this for a large gathering rather than just two people otherwise you will be eating this for a week, like me!!
Orzo, Feta, and Tomato Salad with Marjoram Vinaigrette
- 1 pound orzo
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 teaspoons finely chopped fresh marjoram
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, quartered
- 1 English cucumber, seeded and chopped I added this
- 24 ounces cherry tomatoes, stemmed, halved
Cook orzo in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well. Transfer to large bowl.
Whisk lemon juice, 5 teaspoons marjoram, mustard, and lemon peel in small bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Set aside 2 tablespoons vinaigrette. Add remaining vinaigrette, cheese, onions, and olives to orzo; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate salad and remaining vinaigrette separately.)
Toss tomatoes with reserved vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix tomatoes into orzo. Sprinkle orzo with remaining 1 teaspoon marjoram and serve.
I’m always in the mood for new bread or cake recipes and when I spotted this one in Cooking Light I knew I would be trying it soon. It was also a great excuse to use my stoneware loaf pan again! This cake was so tender and moist. I loved how sweet it was too. It smelled just like fall when it was baking. Memories!
I did learn that I should trust the recipe. When it says that 1 carrot shredded will equal 1/2 of a cup, believe it! I bought double the amount called for of apple, zucchini and carrots. So, I ended up doubling the recipe. I kept one loaf and sent the other with my husband to his work. If you double the recipe I suggest using a food processor to shred the apples, zucchini and carrots. It will go much faster than by hand (I know from experience)!
Garden Harvest Cake
source: Cooking Light
- 4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (1 cup)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup grated peeled Granny Smith apple (about 1 medium)
- 1/2 cup grated carrot (about 1 medium)
- 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- Cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add grated apple, grated carrot, shredded zucchini, and walnuts to flour mixture; toss well. Combine canola oil, buttermilk, and eggs in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add egg mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined. Spoon batter into an 8 x 4–inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove cake from pan. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.