I was "lucky" enough to be introduced to McDonald's Salad Shakers at the ripe age of thirteen. I guess you could say they made an impression on me, because I'm still amused by salads that come packaged in a shake-able format. What could be better than a salad that travels well, and is easy to mix with the dressing when the time comes?
That will be my one plug for McDonalds on this blog. Promise.
Anyway, with Vance working like a bleary-eyed developer at a nutty start-up, our dinners can't be the elaborate affairs they used to be. At least not on weeknights. So I've tried to pick recipes that are quick, healthy, and easy, and can be packaged up for lunch the next day without going through too many dishes. This fits all three of those requirements to a tee.
While these may come in cute packages, they shouldn't be kept for more than a day in the refrigerator. If you need to make them that far in advance, jar up everything but the romaine and add it at the last minute.
Greek Salad with Orzo and Purple Hull Peas
Adapted from a similar recipe in Gourmet Magazine's August 2008 issue (Paul Grimes and Shelley Wiseman). Serves 3-4.
- 3/4 cup orzo
- 2 cups fresh purple hull peas, cooked and rinsed under cool running water (alternately, you can use 1 15-ounce can of black eyed peas, drained and rinsed)
- 2-3 plum tomatoes, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons good-quality red-wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 small or 1/2 large seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, cored, and diced (~3/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
- 2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped romaine
- 1/2 pound feta, crumbled (1 cup)
- 4 to 8 peperoncini
- Salt and Pepper
- 4 (16-ounce) wide jars or 3 (20-ounce) jars with lids
Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
Toss purple hull peas, tomato, and parsley with vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Marinate, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss together orzo, remaining tablespoon oil, cucumber, olives, onion, lemon zest and juice, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.
Divide purple-hull pea mixture (with juices) among jars and layer orzo salad, romaine, and feta on top. Add 1 or 2 peperoncini, sliced, to each jar.
Serve with pita chips and a nice Assyrtiko or Chardonnay.