Orzo and Feta with Lemon-Caper Dressing and Kalamata Olives
Orzo are little rice-shaped pasta that appear in many authentic Greek dishes. In this recipe they absorb the citrus juice and olive oil just enough to balance the flavor of tart capers and strong Greek Kalamata olives. The Mediterranean taste of this salad is bright and lively. Orzo is cooked with turmeric in the water, which imparts a golden-yellow color to the small pasta. For an extra colorful dish, use Whole Foods Markets tricolor orzo. This is a great buffet dish because it tastes wonderful served at room temperature. Serve as a salad or warmed through for a side dish.
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 pound orzo
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely minced fresh parsley
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup pitted, roughly chopped Kalamata olives
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the turmeric, and then add the orzo; cook for 10 to
15 minutes, until it is al dente. Drain the orzo, and rinse it in cold water. Set aside.
In a bowl large enough to hold the orzo, make a dressing by blending the olive oil, white pepper, salt, parsley, lemon juice, capers, and sugar. Add the cooked orzo to the dressing, and combine. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and olives. Carefully toss in the feta cheese, mixing lightly, so the feta stays in nice uniform pieces.
Per serving: calories 530; calories from fat 230; calories from saturated fat 60; protein 14 g; carbohydrate 61 g; total fat 26 g; saturated fat 6 g; cholesterol 20 mg; sodium 1,100 mg; 43% calories from fat
Red chili rub may be made with any favorite dried red chili peppers. This rub is extremely easy to make in a blender and may be kept in the refrigerator for weeks. Red chili paste is burgundy in color and has a chocolate-like, spicy aftertaste. It may be used on seafood, red meat, and poultry. You may also brush it on tofu or tempeh steaks before broiling them. Try roasting a whole unsliced side of salmon fillet, especially for gatherings. Place a line of thinly sliced limes down the center of the salmon before baking for an impressive presentation. Try a slice of chilled salmon on top of Caesar salad or field greens.
3 large dried red chili peppers
11/2 cups lightly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced (1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, or
1 tablespoon fresh
1 tablespoon salt
3 pounds salmon fillet, cut into
2 limes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon canola oil
Fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish
Soak the chili peppers in enough warm water to cover them for 30 minutes, until soft. When the peppers are soft, remove the stems and seeds. Place the chilies, brown sugar, lime juice, garlic, oregano, and salt in a blender, and purée until you have a pastelike consistency. If the mixture isn’t pastelike, add a little of the soaking liquid, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the salmon fillets side by side, touching, so it looks like one whole side of salmon. Spread the purée evenly over the tops of the salmon to completely cover the fillets. Lay 2 overlapping slices of the lime on each portion of the salmon, lining up the lime slices so they make a strip down the center of the “whole” fillet. Lightly brush the lime slices with the canola oil. Bake the salmon uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, until the salmon is golden brown and fully cooked through.
Carefully remove the salmon fillets to a serving platter, re-creating the “whole” shape. Serve hot from the oven, at room temperature, or chilled.
When ready to serve, garnish the “whole” fillet with fresh cilantro sprigs.
Per serving: calories 680; calories from fat 160; calories from saturated fat 35; protein 85 g; carbohydrate 40 g; total fat 18 g; saturated fat 4 g; cholesterol 195 mg; sodium 117