Summertime is potluck time in the Midwest. We tend to get a little nuts about it. We have only a few short months to enjoy the warmer temps so we really have to live it up when we can. So that means brats, beers, and salads.
One of the funny quirks about Minnesota is that you need to specify the kind of salad. A green salad is an actual salad like Cesar or Cobb. But that my friends, is only the beginning.
Green salads are great and all but the most common and beloved are Jello and Pasta salads. My husband for one has not found a ‘salad’ that he hasn’t loved. When I lose him at the grocery store, he can be found at the deli counter checking out the options and getting himself a little container.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good pasta salad as good as the next Minnesota gal. But they all start to taste the same after awhile. I have a suspicion that is really just the same few recipes with various kinds of extras thrown in.
I am always on the look for a twist on a classic or finding a recipe that can take a from-a-box classic to homemade without too much fuss.
This recipe is one of those.
Broccoli and Orzo Salad
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2/3 cup orzo
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- In a large saucepan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion then cook until onion is tender, stirring sometimes. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Add a bit more oil if it seems dry, then add the orzo. Cook for a couple of minutes until orzo is light brown. Make sure you stir, that pasta will stick.
- Stir in broth, marjoram, and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes.
- Stir in the broccoli and shredded carrot. Return to simmer and cover. Let the veggies steam for 3 or 4 minutes (or until the orzo is tender).
- Remove pan from heat and let stand (with the cover on) for around 5 minutes. Stir and serve
PS A favorite at my inlaws is Snickers Salad. It is basically whipped cream/pudding hybrid with chopped up candy bars mixed in. But there are apples in it too, so it is healthy (wink)! I will have to get Aunt Marie’s recipe and share it with you.