Yummy Orzo Salad – thanks Giada

After 269 ratings on the foodtv.com website this recipe still scores 5 stars! Now that’s saying something – and now we know why. Inspired by a newly acquired bag of orzo (part of my ‘this ain’t your mama’s pantry’ acquisitions) I went in search of a good salad recipe. There is a pre-made orzo salad I get sometimes in Granville Island that is just ho hum, but I love orzo so wanted something with a bit more pizzazz. My foodtv search brought me to this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis, the celebrity chef with a surprisingly small figure considering the food she makes and while quite beautiful a head that on tv appears strangely large on her tiny body.   Her food is fantastic, and I suggest sticking to her instructions.  For example don’t skip out on boiling the orzo in chicken stock…it is a thoughful touch that makes this salad special.  This is a great accompaniment to lamb or fish (tried it with both).  Also I sprinkled some toasted pine nuts on it the other night – yummy!

click here orzo-salad to view my recipe card with notes for salad.

A couple key modifications I made to this salad

1. Cut the oil in half! (even a bit less) Make sure you have a good balance of acid – but I find 1/4 cup more oil than acid not necessary. Also note that she doesn’t use all the vinaigrette in the salad – so in my case I just made less of the vinaigrette.

2. Added Feta cheese – why not I love cheese

3. Squeezed the seeds out of my tomato halves (take a few minutes but I think it is a step worth the effort)

4. Blended almost all the herbs in with the vinaigrette in my magic bullet

5. Mixed everything except the cheese and chick peas together the night before and let it set over night! Then add the cheese, tomatoes, and a few fresh herbs before serving.

If you have made Giada’s Orzo Salad share your rating using the stars below Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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“The service here is better than Joey Potatoes”

Milestones

107 – 8th Ave. SE, 403.410.9521, Calgary, Alberta

 

If it is one of those nights where you are not sure quite what you want and you might even be thinking something like a salad I’d suggest heading over to Milestones. They have locations in BC, Ontario, or Alberta. There are three locations in Calgary, but the one I’ve visited is on Stephen Avenue (8th Ave). I’ve been here twice now, and so far I’ve only tried their “Big Salads”. There are six of these salads on their menu and you can add grilled shrimp, chicken or salmon to any of them making for a lot of options. I’ve been with others who would recommend the soups and lamb. Since Joey Tomatoes has discontinued my favourite ‘Evil Jungle Noodle Salad”, I’ve had to replace those cravings with Milestone’s ‘Vegetarian Thai Noodle Salad’. A warning though is that this salad is not nearly as good as the evil jungle, and it slated to be served with feta cheese on top. If you’ve got any foodie self respect you will ask them to hold the feta cheese, because it has no business being on a Thai salad. However, as V.J. says the service at Milestones is way better than “Joey Potatoes” so for a casual night out with reasonable options on the menu for everyone you can drop by Milestones. I’d give this place a very okay and will go back again to curb my salad cravings.

If you have been to Milestones share your rating using the stars below.
Not OKJust OKVery OKVery GoodGreat (1 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)
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