Honey, they will be here in 30 minutes orzo…

Salads / August 1, 2013

Thanks, I appreciate the early warning. That gives me plenty of time to…WAIT! Half an hour? Well, I will just have to improvise. But isn’t that when the good stuff happens?

It looks like rice, but it’s pasta. And it was at the top of the pasta drawer. That little tomato in the corner? I didn’t need it when I made that salad the other night and it is perfectly ripe. Aha! Snow peas, roasted corn, peas, onions…now for the dressing. That bulb of ginger looks fun. And I still have half a lime. Wait, there’s some maple syrup in the pantry. DONE.

When sudden company strikes, one must remain calm, collected, and reach for the knife and cutting board. Here’s a recipe for 30 Minute Orzo Chicken Salad with Maple Ginger Dressing. And by the way, it was a hit!

30 Minute Orzo Chicken Salad with Maple Ginger Dressing


2 C chicken strip pieces, ready-made, cut into chunks. (Or saute fresh ones in a pan with salt and pepper and a bit of soy sauce.)
1 1/4 C Orzo pasta uncooked
6 cups of water for pasta
1 large, ripe tomato diced
1 C snap peas, washed and cut into large pieces
1 C frozen roasted or regular corn
1/2 C frozen peas
1/2 C radicchio, roughly chopped lengthwise
2 slices of a sweet white onion diced small


1 T fresh grated ginger root
1/2 lime, juiced
2 T sunflower or other light oil
1/2 T salt, 1/4 T pepper
squeeze yellow mustard
Almost a 1/2 C maple syrup (the cheap imitation kind… it’s better in this dressing because it is more subtle.)
Dash of coriander powder
5 drops of sesame oil

Cut up all the ingredients. Rinse the frozen veggies, strain and set aside. Cook the chicken if using raw, in olive oil and drain and set aside. Cook the orzo until al dente, drain and place in a large bowl. Add all other ingredients, toss with dressing, and serve with crusty ciabatta bread and fuji apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Or do what I did. Set the slices of bread on a cookie sheet, brush with high-quality olive oil, a dash of coarse salt, top with a sprinkling of herbs de provence, and toast under a broiler until browned.

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