Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eat for a Week, Episode 29: Broccoli & Feta Orzo Salad

The deli at my grocery store has a killer broccoli and feta orzo salad. I decided to try making one on my own, and it came out really well. The only downside is that I made WAY too much. I had to give some away to friends so it wouldn't go bad. Fortunately, they also enjoyed it!

My grocery bill for this one was about $22 for, well, pretty much everything. If I hadn't been out of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, the bill would have been more like $14.


1.75 lbs pork, chopped into 1.5"-2" pieces *
10 Tbsps olive oil
8 Tbsps balsamic vinegar **
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp mustard
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 lb fresh broccoli, chopped
2 lbs orzo
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 16 oz. can chick peas, drained and rinsed
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Salt & pepper


For the pork:
In a bowl, mix pork, 2 Tbsps olive oil, 2 Tbsps balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, and salt & pepper to taste. Mix well and set aside for about 30 minutes.
Cook in skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through.

For the salad:
For the dressing, combine fresh garlic, 7-8 Tbsps olive oil, 5-6 Tbsps balsamic vinegar, mustard, and salt & pepper to taste. Whisk well.

In a large pot, bring well-salted water to a boil.
Add broccoli to boiling water. After about 30 seconds, remove the broccoli to a bowl of ice water to cool, then drain.
Allow water to return to a boil then add orzo and cook according to instructions on the box.
When done cooking, drain pasta, toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and allow to cool to about room temperature. Add broccoli, onions, feta, dressing, and mix well. Taste for seasoning. If you'd like it more tangy, feel free to add a bit more vinegar. (I ended up adding an additional 3 tablespoons or so.)

Serve topped with the cooked pork.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret here. Most of the time, I'm making these recipes up as I go. The next time I make this, I will only use one pound of orzo and cut the dressing proportions in half. Unless you are VERY hungry or are making this for a huge group of people, I would suggest you do likewise.

Music for this episode is "Violet" by The Hybiscus Journals. Download it for free - or whatever you think it is worth - at http://thehybiscusjournals.bandcamp.com/album/chakra-pop

* Technically the pork - or any meat, really - isn't even necessary here. The combination of pasta and chick peas creates a complete protein. I just happen to like meat. Of course, if you also like meat but don't do pork, this would work well with chicken or turkey.
** I do realize that balsamic vinegar is rather expensive. If it's just not in your budget, please feel free to use whatever vinegar you have on hand. Though if you can swing it, I highly recommend picking some up. Good stuff.