Eliza says, best dinner yet!
This is partly a blog to eat cheap and healthy, and we also want to not waste anything, so…
I found leftover orzo salad (recipe at end of post) from our dinner with Cathy and Betty and Carol. We needed something that would compliment the pistachio/currant blend in that salad, bearing in mind Bill’s edict for vegetables and herbs to kick back and like each other, even though he was out-of-town. Grace remembered we had a little bit of leftover mushroom/ginger/garlic saute from last night, and thought that would taste great mixed with braising greens. In the crisper: baby lettuces, a red pepper, a cucumber and an avocado. On the counter, half a loaf of two-day-old homemade bread. Hmm… and bourbon vanilla gelato. Plus the ingredients for Maple Crisp cookies, and time enough to bake them, because I didn’t have to go to the store.
Cheese and crackers, first, for a little extra protein. Also, really, what is the day’s end without cheese and crackers?
Our meal was:
- Orzo salad
- Bruschetta with greens and leftover mushrooms
- Green salad with Bright Herb Dressing from June 2012 Bon Appetit, using thyme and parsley from our garden
- Bourbon vanilla gelato with Maple Crisp cookies
Chartreuse greens melting darker as they wilt in the pan. The smell of ginger and garlic rising in a palpable steam. An easy and easy-going dinner, no fussing at all, Grace and I just cooked and talked and laughed. I love this kind of meal. I used to think vegetarian cooking had to be so work-intensive, and that I had to have time in abundance. Not last night’s meal, and not this one. No measuring! No counting. Which was good, as we were all trying, and failing, to remember the names of poets. Walt Whitman! That’s for you, Doug and Elsie. He landed on my shoulder the minute you drove off. I miss you so much during the winter… so glad you are here!
Curried Orzo Salad
1 TB curry powder
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
salt and pepper
olive or flax seed oil, or a combo, as needed (maybe ¼ to ½ cup, maybe less)
Juice of ½ or one lemon, or less
½ cup shelled pistachios, salted
11/2 cup or a whole box orzo
½ cup currants, plumped for ten minutes in hot or boiling water I pour out some of the water I’m boiling for the orzo), and drained well.
Combine vinaigrette ingredients.
Toast pistachios in oven or on the stove top until fragrant (not necessary if they are shelled and roasted already).
Cook orzo until al dente. Toss, while still warm with vinaigrette, then fold in other ingredients.
This salad lasts a while in the fridge, several days at least.
Maple Crisp Cookies
1 stick butter, melted
1 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 c. oatmeal
In a small bowl (microwave) or pan (stovetop), melt the butter, then add water and maple syrup. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt, then stir in the oatmeal, followed by the butter mixture. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room to spread (they are almost entirely butter, after all… thank you, Julia Childs!) Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Add nuts if wanted—optional.