Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lemon Orzo salad recipe, lovely surprise and paying it forward

- I've blogged about the Lemon Orzo salad from Fresh Market at least two times.  It's that good.  And with the help of the internet (what did we do without you?), I figured out how to make it at home.  There it is - adapted from a recipe I found from a blog named Blonde Appetit (hers had butter in it - I used olive oil.)  Recipe is at the bottom.* Let me know if you make it.  It's so good.

- Coming home on Monday evening to a package on the doorstep.  It was a surprise from Leonora, who writes the blog "A Journal of Days" and started off the new year by throwing out a Pay It Forward challenge:

"2013 creative Pay-it-Forward:  The first 5 people to comment will receive from me, sometime in the next calendar year, a gift.  Perhaps a book, a baked good, a candle, music, a surprise!  There will likely be no warning and it will happen whenever the mood strikes me.  These 5 people may wish to make the same offer on either their facebook status or via their blog."

It was definitely a surprise and I loved the note, "Everyone needs a little lilac in their life."  Leonora blogged about the scent of lilacs one day and I commented I didn't know what they smell like.  Now I do.  :)  Thanks again, Lee!  A delightful surprise.

- So I throw out the same challenge - the first 5 people to comment today will receive something good in the mail, when you least expect it.  You just have to supply your address in an email.

* Lemon Orzo with Pine Nuts

1/2 lb. orzo (about 1 generous cup)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, whole
1 large handful baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 lemon, reserve the other half in case you need it
Olive oil (about 1/3 cup)
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Boil orzo in 3 quarts of salted water for 10 minutes until firm.  Drain.  In a large bowl, combine spinach, pine nuts, and tomatoes.  Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over pasta.  Give it a good stir.  Drizzle a good amount of olive oil in a circle over the bowl.  Keep in mind not to use too much, as it marinates, the pasta will absorb the oil and you can always add more.  Add a small palmful of Kosher salt.  Add a few shakes of pepper.  Stir.  Taste.  If you prefer more lemon, add the juice of the second half.  Again, remember with salt, etc., you can never take away, but always add more.  Let marinate.  Then enjoy.

I ended up using the whole lemon, adding the second half later, as suggested.  


Fireblossom said...

I want mail! :-)

Leonora said...

Oh, it looks even prettier lit up!
I think a Yankee Candle is the next best thing to the real scent of lilacs. Enjoy!

TALON said...

Funny you mentioned lilac because they are in full outrageous bloom here. There's a hill close-by that is lined with the deep purple, the white and the soft lavender colored ones and it's like a sensory overload when you walk down it. Makes Charlie sneeze! :)

Chatty Crone said...

Now that lemon orzo sounds delish!

Granny Annie said...

I want mail too:)

Do you know how expensive pine nuts are? I love them and the recipe sounds great.

Lynn said...

FB -

You got it. :) I'll send you an email for your address.

Leonora -

It does look pretty lit up. And I love that scent!

I have your address. :)

Talon -

Oh my - poor Charlie! I'll bet that is so beautiful. I looked up lilacs and they don't grow well in the south because the winters are not cold enough here.

I have your address. :)

Sandie -

So good - and many less $$$ than buying it at Fresh Market!

I'll need your address - I'll email you for it. :)

Granny Annie -

Yay - you got it! I have your address.

I bought pine nuts for this recipe, but don't remember them being that pricey. I think you'd like this salad.

Riot Kitty said...

Ah, I missed the window! Sorry, time zone issues. I don't get to read usually until I get home.

And I am SO going to make that salad.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Your salad has great color- you take such good food pics! Would you believe I've never tried orzo?
I may get some pics of lilacs in my yard this week, if it doesn't rain when I have time. I have a huge Lilac bush- n you can smell them houses away!
Cool pay forward offer. I'm always late to the party with my night reading tho! When I comment early an it;s cause I haven't slept yet!

Elephant's Child said...

That salad sounds AMAZING. And I will assuredly make it - thank you.

I have planted five or six lilacs of different colours - and will plant more. A wonderful scent. And a wonderful meme.

Lynn said...

Riot Kitty -

Sorry - I didn't think that through. Next time I'll try to think of a more fair way to handle that. :)

The salad is really delicious - I hope you love it as much as I do.

Snaggle -

I'm glad you get to smell that heavenly scent!

Elephant's Child -

Yay - I hope you like it. And I'll bet you have a most beautiful garden.

Maude Lynn said...

I want that salad!

sage said...

Well, I'm not in the top five, but that salad sounds good!

Lynn said...

Mama Zen -

It takes no time to make. :)

Sage -

Maybe next time...

LL Cool Joe said...

That salad does look good! And that's something you won't hear me say often. It's always nice to get something through the post. I hope your winner is delighted with your gift!

Betty Manousos said...

mmmm...seriously, i love that salad! looks so delicious!

big hugs~

Lynn said...

Joe -

I made it again Saturday - so good.

Betty -

Seriously good. :)

Whitney said...

I picked up some kale and tomato orzo at Fresh Market the other day and it was fabulous. I'll have to try this recipe.

Unknown said...

I travel to GA every week and hardly ever miss buying the Lemon Orzo salad at Fresh Market! I love it! I live in NE and it is hard to find orzo where I live, so I bought some last week in GA and brought it home. Thank you so much for the recipe! I am making it today!

Unknown said...

My family and I love this salad. I did make a few additions that we enjoy. I add 1 large can of mandarin oranges, orange zest and substitute orange juice for the lemon juice in the recipe. Occasionally, I will add chopped fresh mozzarella as well. Yummy!

RNorsh said...

This salad is even better with Feta, Kalamata olives, and chopped basil in it.