Orzo Salad. To call this a salad seems wrong. This should be called, "I'll just bring a little side dish I like to throw together for potlucks--that kicks your salad's ass". It is homely and green, and possibly brown if you put the avocado chunks on too early. It has fiber thanks to a healthy dose of broccoli and whole wheat orzo and good fats from the avocado and olive oil. So you make it because it's healthy and you want your guests to avoid colon cancer. Noooooo!!! You make this because you want to be popular. If you are rich and can afford enough $23 per pound pine nuts to use some as a garnish, you are probably headed for prom queen status. So bring this gem to your next neighborhood picnic and smile smugly.
From the awesome cookbook by Heidi Swanson Supernatural Every Day. She is going to think I am stalking her.....
1.5 cups whole wheat orzo
5 cups raw broccoli cut into small florets
2 cloves peeled garlic
2/3 c. pine nuts--toasted if you sure you won't burn them
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
juice of one lemon
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. creme fraiche--head for your gourmet grocery or just use plain whole milk yogurt
grated zest of one lemon
one small ripe avocado, peeled/pitted/cubed--wait! do this last so it won't get too brown
Cook orzo in generously salted boiling water until slightly al dente. Drain and fluff.
Bring one cup water to boil with pinch salt added--cook broccoli for about a minute--then cool quickly with running cool water in colander--this will help it stay nice and green. Drain well.
Combine 2 cups cooked broccoli, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan, 1/4 tsp. salt and 2 T. lemon juice in blender or food processor. Drizzle in olive oil and creme fraiche and pulse til smooth.
Toss all together with orzo--the dressing, reserved broccoli, lemon zest. Gently fold in avocado.