Monday, September 7, 2009

Orzo Cucumber Salad with Mint and Oregano

Orzo Pasta Salad


Remember back when I pledged to buy no more cookbooks? Well, I am proud to say that I have stuck to my pledge. Since I have no new treats to look through, I am starting to spend time perusing old favorites, and those books that I just had to have, but then managed to never cook from. The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs was one of those books.

Have you seen this book, or looked through it? It's not a cookbook, it's really what it says it is, a flavor bible. A place to go to see what goes with what. I've been wanting to be a little more creative and loose with my cooking and this book allows you to do that, with a few helpful guidelines. Wanting to make some sort of side dish using cucumbers, I looked them up in the book. One of the pairings suggested was: cucumbers, garlic, mint, oregano, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Sounded good to me, so I took those ingredients, added some pasta, and had this lovely pasta salad!

Orzo Cucumber Salad with Mint and Oregano
Serves 4

1 cup orzo
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup mint, chopped
1/4 cup oregano, chopped
2 cups diced cucumbers
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo pure directions and drain. Mince garlic and add to bowl. Spoon hot orzo over the garlic, to cook the garlic a bit. Let it sit, while you chop the herbs and cucumbers. Add the herbs and cucumbers to the orzo. Pour over the olive oil and vinegar (you can whisk it to an emulsion first if you'd like, I usually don't bother). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

This herby pasta salad will be my entry for this week's Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Rachel at The Crispy Cook.

22 comments:

MangoChild said...

This looks quite tasty, and I bet it would work with a lot of different grains too....

Joanne said...

This is definitely a classic combination of ingredients. The mint and vinegar must do so much to flavor the cucumbers.

I love that you are experimenting more! The flavor bible is definitely a great way to start. I've been pining for one of those, but I've been trying to restrain as well.

noble pig said...

I like the idea of mint and oregano, I don't think I've ever tasted that combo.

Antoinette said...

Delicious.... must try.

La Table De Nana said...

For my part..I find green and white totally appetizing! I don't have that book..I think it's fun to get inspired and try and find new in old:) I do!

Tins and Treasures said...

As always, your food looks delicious. Maybe I'll try this, as I have a whole basket of cucumbers. Happy Labor Day ~Natalie

shabby girl said...

Ooo, that sounds refreshing. I don't usually think to use orzo, but we really like it. This looks like a great warm autumn dish!

Kim said...

Hi Pam! Congrats to you- you won the "pitch your own food network show" contest over on my blog. Please email me at tony.tracy@att.net with your address so I can mail you your goodies. I loved the idea of using an herb and making a three course meal with it. And, I've been wanting the flavor bible - looks great!

Marjie said...

It is lovely! I am convinced that a good deal of how food tastes is how it looks.

Rachel said...

This sounds really refreshing. Thanks for sending a bowl over to Pasta Presto Nights!

Ruth Daniels said...

It does sound like a great book if this recipe is an example. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

haleysuzanne said...

I have made a salad similar to this using rice, but I think orzo would really lend it a beautiful texture. Great idea!

Brentwood Kitchen Shopper said...

Looks great! It'll be a perfect part of my new diet!

a good yarn said...

I like this combination - zingy and fresh. Definitely worth a try.

Grace said...

stay strong, pam!
i have to say, that does sound like a delightful blend of ingredients. good thinking, combining them into a pasta salad.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Lovely salad Pam. I'm starting to use orzo more and more.

I admire your pledge not to buy any new cookbooks. I couldn't do it, but it is fun to look through old ones you have and discover dishes you never noticed before.
Sam

Chef Fresco said...

I love this combination! Looks so delicious.

girlichef said...

This sounds absolutely delicious...I love the fresh flavors!

Recipe4Living said...

Beautiful orzo pasta salad! We would love to have this recipe on Recipe4Living.com!

claire said...

My husband is a chef and he adores The Flavor Bible (which was the first book giveaway I ever entered and surprisingly won, for him). :D

The Food Hunter said...

Great combo of flavors. I've got to make this one.

Lisa said...

This sounds wonderful and your photo is just gorgeous! I will have to try this. It would work perfectly with so many different things.