Friday, June 25, 2010

Orzo Salad With Raw Kale, Kalamata Olives, Heirloom Tomatoes And Hazelnuts In A Lemon Dill Dressing - Vegan And Vegetarian Recipe Options

Our Annual Summer Solstice Party
Our family started a tradition last year to gather at our home in Sebastopol, California to celebrate the Summer Solstice. This was our second celebration and I definitely think this tradition is going to stick! The kids, grandkids and extended family traveled here from Portland, Minneapolis, San Francisco and New York. A week of swimming, game playing, movie watching, cooking, visiting local attractions and soaking up the California sun culminated in a big party on Saturday evening.

With 29 adults and children, all with different eating habits, the menu becomes quite a challenge. So we typically have a combination of raw, vegan, vegetarian, seafood and BBQ'd turkey tenderloins so that everyone can find something they can enjoy. And of course, lots of Sonoma wines.

This year, everyone pitched in to prepare our feast. My daughter-in-law Karina brought tons of organic lettuce and other veggies from her garden in Portland and made a giant raw salad. She has now converted her entire yard to raised bed gardens (You can see her garden in my post, 10 Good Reasons to Plant a Garden). Another dish we served was an orzo salad that my daughter Linda prepared. It's a nice combination of organic pasta with lots of raw veggies and was inspired by our Garbanzo and Raw Kale Salad. I thought you would enjoy this fresh and healthful recipe. My Sweet and Spicy Vegetarian Baked Beans and Shrimp and Artichoke Salad were also well received.

Orzo Salad with Kale, Kalamata Olives, Tomatoes and Hazelnuts
[serves 6 to 8]
For the lemon-dill salad dressing
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons brine from olives
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
For the salad
1/2 bunch kale, de-stemmed and thinly sliced (3 cups)
1/2 pound organic orzo, cooked according to directions and drained
2 medium heirloom tomatoes, diced
12 pitted kalamata olives, sliced
2 tablespoons grated parmesan OR nutritional yeast (vegan alternative)
3 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts

Combine and mix all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, massage the kale with a few tablespoons of the dressing and let sit while you cook the orzo. Let the orzo cool a bit and mix in with the kale. Add the tomatoes, kalamata olives and either the parmesan or nutritional yeast. If you are going to serve immediately, mix in enough dressing so that it is well dressed but not over dressed. If you are going to serve the salad later, add more or all of the dressing as the pasta will absorb it. Top with hazelnuts.

Per serving (8 servings with parmesan): 196.8 calories, 9.8 g fat, 1.1 g saturated fat, 1.4 mg cholesterol, 5.5 g protein, 26.3 g carbohydrates and 1.9 g of fiber.

Per serving (8 servings with nutritional yeast): 200.1 calories, 9.5 g fat, 0.9 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6.2 g protein, 27.4 g carbohydrates and 2.5 g of fiber.

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