RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
It’s HOT! Here’s something COLD and delicious. That’s all I got. - Scotty
Saffron Orzo Pasta Salad with Fresh Cherries, Pistachio, & Feta - Serves 8-10
6 cups ( 1 1/2 quarts) unsalted chicken stock (may substitute with water)
3 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons saffron threads
1 pound Orzo pasta
1 pound fresh sweet cherries, stoned (not that kind of stoned, “pitted”) and halved
1 cup small diced cucumber
1/2 cup roasted pistachio, roughly chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Micro-greens and edible flowers to decorate
For The Dressing
“Citrus Mint Vinaigrette”
1/2 cup fresh lemon/lime (or a combination) juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons sugar (may substitute honey )
1/4 teaspoon In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line Seasoning” or your salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium-large pot bring the chicken stock, saffron threads, and kosher salt to a boil. Add the dry orzo pasta and cook approximately five minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander but DO NOT RINSE. You will wash away all that expensive saffron and flavorful chicken stock. Stir in some olive oil to help prevent sticking.
Spread the cooked pasta out on a sheet pan, or in a large bowl, and allow to cool. Place the pasta in the fridge to chill. You may make the pasta the night before if needed Just cover and store in the refrigerator.
To make the Citrus Mint Vinaigrette: In a blender, add the fresh citrus juice, mint leaves, Dijon mustard, sugar, and “Cook’s Line seasoning or your salt and black pepper. Run the blender on medium speed (don’t forget to cover the blender first) and blend until the mint is thoroughly mixed into the dressing. Turn off the blender and remove the center pour opening in the center of the lid. Again on medium speed slowly drizzle in the olive oil until a creamy emulsified dressing suddenly appears. Taste the dressing for any additional seasoning and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
When ready to make the pasta salad: In a large bowl, add the cooked saffron orzo pasta; You may need to break it up a bit. Add the diced cucumber, half of the stoned and halved cherries, and half of the feta cheese. Pour in all of the dressing and fold into the rest.
Pour the pasta salad out onto a large platter, or bowl. Add the remaining cherries and feta cheese on top. Next, add the chopped roasted pistachio.
Garnish the salad with micro-greens/sprouts and edible flowers and serve cold! Excellent with cold roasted chicken, or off the grill lamb chops!