Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Fabulous with fresh asparagus!  The original recipe called for grape or cherry tomatoes, but there's no way to make this recipe when both tomatoes and asparagus are in season, so I stuck to my "in-season" guns and substituted sun-dried tomatoes for fresh.  I'm glad I did!

Source:  adapted from

12 oz. orzo
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, cut into small pieces
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. fresh parsley, minced
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
grated Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)

Lightly steam asparagus; place in bowl of ice water to stop cooking.
Cook orzo according to package instructions.  Drain and place in large bowl.  Add asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes.
Whisk olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in small bowl.  Stir into orzo and vegetables.  Stir in parsley and cheese.

Serve warm, room temperature or cold.

I could have eaten the whole bowl this evening, but I made sure I saved enough for lunch tomorrow; I plan to add some left over roasted chicken breast to change it up.

Update, 6/30/12 - Since my asparagus season is over, I substituted some frozen sugar peas in place of the asparagus - absolutely yummy!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Creamy Leek and Potato Soup

What a crazy winter!  One of the perks was that the mild temps allowed these 2 leeks that struggled last summer to mature over the winter.  This was my first attempt at growing leeks, so I'm not even sure how the winter affected their flavor, but I decided they were certainly worthy of eating if they made the effort to survive the winter.


2 T. unsalted butter
4 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, thickly sliced
1 baking potato (1/2 lb.), peeled and cut into 2" chunks
5 c. chicken stock
1 c. heavy cream
slat and freshly ground pepper
chervil or parsley sprigs, for garnish

Melt butter in large saucepan.  Add leeks and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 min.  Add the potato and chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15 min.  Add cream and simmer for 10 min. longer.  Working in batches, puree soup in a blender, then return to pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with parsley and serve.

Serves 6