Fruity Orzo Salad

8 06 2015

Saw this fruity salad idea in my latest Rachael Ray Mag and had to give it a try! It’s pretty versatile too, you can switch up the pasta, the fruit and the herbs – perfect for quick summer meals!

Fruity Orzo Salad

Fruity Orzo Salad

The following serves 2-3 (adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray):

  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 4-5 strips of thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Golden balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 nectarine, chopped
  • 1/2 cup drained mozzarella pearls (small, fresh mozzarella balls)
  • 1/4 cup sliced chives or basil
  • Zest of half a lemon

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook orzo to al dente according to package directions. Drain, cool and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook chopped bacon until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to dry.

In a medium bowl, whisk together some vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Next add the cooled orzo, the chopped nectarine, mozzarella balls, chives (or basil) and lemon zest. Toss everything to coat in the dressing. Taste and adjust vinegar, oil and/or seasoning if needed. Add in the bacon and toss to coat.

Serve salad with a protein of your choice. Pictured here is a salmon burger.

Sautéed Chicken with Nectarine Salsa over Buttered Noodles

7 08 2011

I like getting creative when I find a recipe I want to try but don’t necessarily have all the ingredients – like the Grilled Peach Salsa recipe that inspired this dish. The recipe called for peaches, jalapeno, cilantro and mint. I didn’t have any of those things, but these ingredients jazzed This Girl up to use what I did have…nectarines, Hungarian hot peppers and parsley! I just let my creativity flow and created a deliciously sweet and savory meal that I think you’ll equally enjoy!

Sautéed Chicken with Nectarine Salsa over Buttered Noodles

For the chicken:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Paprika
  • Olive oil

Dust both sides of chicken with Kosher salt, cumin, coriander and paprika – enough to coat and season the chicken. Sauté in some olive oil (a turn or two of the pan) over medium-high heat. You’re looking for the chicken to firm up and brown, about 5-6 minutes per side.

While the chicken is cooking, work on the salsa:

  • 1 nectarine, halved, pitted and quartered
  • Half a small red onion, diced
  • 1 large Hungarian hot pepper or small jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • Zest of half a lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Sauté onion and peppers in a little olive oil over medium heat until they become soft. Zest half a lime in the pan and toss in the nectarine slices and 1 Tbsp butter. Cook a few minutes until the fruit begins to brown, then toss in about 1/2 Tbsp chopped parsley and juice of half the lime. Sprinkle with a pinch of Kosher salt. Let sit under ready to serve.

I had some leftover cooked pasta that I heated up with a little butter and lime juice. I served the chicken over the buttered noodles, topped with the salsa. At the end I finished everything with the remaining lime juice and 1/2 Tbsp chopped parsley. This would also be good over rice or has a salad over romaine lettuce.