Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Friday: Salmon-Asparagus Orzo Salad with Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

 I think it's nearing the end of asparagus being in season, but our grocery store still had it so I decided to make this very easy but delicious Cooking Light meal. I usually make this dish for lunch, but thought it would make a good dinner as well. This salad makes great leftovers, so make sure to leave a little extra for the next day. :)
I love using orzo pasta whenever I can because it's a breeze to make and it has the same shape as rice. The vinaigrette for this orzo dish was very tasty! I will have to try it on a green salad or as a dressing on BBQ salmon. Enjoy!

Orzo Salad Recipe
6 servings
6 cups of water
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4 lb)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1. Preheat broiler or grill.
2. In a large saucepan bring the water to a boil and add asparagus. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon. Reserve the cooking water. Plunge the asparagus into cold water; drain and set aside. 
3. Bring reserved water to a boil. Cook orzo for about 5-7 minutes, until el dente.
4. Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper. Broil 5 minutes or grill at medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until fish can easily be flaked when tested with a fork. Break fish into pieces with two forks. Combine all the ingredients with 1/3 cup lemon-dill vinaigrette recipe below. YUMMY!

Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette Recipe
 Yield: 1/3 cup

 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese ( I had herb-chevre goat cheese
leftover from another recipe and just used that) 
1 TB fresh dill, chopped (I used dry dill-1 tsp) 
3 TB lemon juice
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced 

1. Mix it all up in a small bowl with a whisk. 


Plan and Prep Ahead

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

~Boil asparagus ahead of time and keep in fridge until ready to use. 
~Grill salmon ahead of time and keep in fridge until time of use. 
~Slice red onion and keep in fridge. 
~Make vinaigrette and keep in fridge.


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 

~Instead of asparagus try cooked broccoli, cauliflower, grilled corn, roasted bell pepper strips, edema me (soy beans), grilled eggplant strips or chopped zucchini. 
~Leave out the red onion and try sliced green onion or shallots.
~Not a big fish person? Use cooked chicken, beef, pork or tofu instead
~Try blue cheese instead of feta. 

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