Friday, March 23, 2012

Orzo Salad with Avocado and Feta

We are totally soaking up the sun and loving this warm spring weather here in New York! Anyone else also craving ice cream, Italian ices, and summery salads?  Earlier this week, I made Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi over Orzo pasta which was fabulous! But I had a 1/2 lb of Orzo left that I wanted to use up.  I started looking up recipes for light, summery Orzo salads and stumbled upon one with some of my favorite salad ingredients - feta and avocado, yum!!

I was very happy with how it came out.  The feta, avocado, jalapeno, tomatoes and orange juice provides a very fresh yet flavorful combination. 

Orzo Salad with Avocado and Feta

However, I must share one important life lesson I learned while making this:  Wear gloves when working with jalapeno chiles!!
Sidetracked and in a rush, I seeded and minced the jalapeno bare-handed.  Ugh, worst idea ever! Two hours later, I finally put two and two together and realized why my fingers were burning.  (Yes, two hours.  I swear I'm not usually THAT slow!). Washing my hands repeatedly in hot water was another dumb idea - perfect way to open up the pores for that hot chile oil to seep in even deeper.  Thanks to Google, we finally found out milk is the remedy for jalapeno burns.  Hubby JL made a late night milk run to the grocery store to save the day, relief finally!!

Luxurious milk soak to ease the burn.  Instant relief!

Try out this recipe from Tastebook.com! I halved it since I only had a 1/2 lb of Orzo, and it yielded two full servings.  Just remember, wear gloves when cutting jalapenos!

Orzo Salad with Avocado and Feta
  
Ingredients
1 lb Orzo
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 Avocado, cubed
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 large Shallot, sliced thin
1 Jalapeno chile, seeded and minced (*wear gloves!)
Zest of one Lemon
Juice from one Orange
5 oz. Feta Cheese, crumbled
2 TB chopped fresh Parsley


Cook the Orzo until al dente, following the instructions on the package. When cooked, strain the pasta and run it under cool water to stop the cooking.

In a large bowl, toss the Orzo with Olive Oil.  Cube the avocado.  Add all the remaining ingredients - the avocado, tomatoes, garlic, shallots, jalapeno, lemon zest, orange juice, feta cheese and parsley.

Yields: 4 servings

Mix gently and serve!

Enjoy!

Piggy KL

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