The Everlasting Recipe for Salad

Tomato PictureYou’re probably thinking to yourself, where did this guy come up with a title like this? It doesn’t make sense, especially when it’s referred to food.  Well the idea came to me while I was at church Sunday.  As I was listening to the Pastor’s message and the word Everlasting just got stuck in my head and hence the title “The Everlasting Recipe For________”

If you’re like me and really have a passion for cooking and creating new dishes or a new version of an existing recipe, then I think you would agree that all we create is temporary.  Let me explain when I say “temporary.”  The work and time for certain recipes can be exhausting.

However, in most cases the end result is picture perfect, eye appealing, tasty and nutritious.  How many times have we prepared a meal and once it was served it was demolished and disappeared?  One of the best examples I can give you about this whole theory of “Temporary and Everlasting” happened to me about 30 years ago when I was helping prepare a meal for a special event with a kitchen staff of about 30 and just over 1500 attendees to feed.  The meal was Beef Prime Rib Roast, Green Bean Almondine, Italian Roasted Potatoes, Orzo Spinach Salad and Baked Alaska Flambé for dessert.

Obviously, there were many hours of planning for an event this big; it was quit the experience for a young lad like myself to be part of a kitchen staff that worked two days preparing a meal of this magnitude.  There was a ton of picture taking of the food preparation and the serving, especially the Baked Alaska Flambé.  The point is that after more than 32 hours of food preparation and hours and hours of planning; the meal was devoured in 1 ½ hours. The meal may have only taken a short time for the attendees to enjoy, but the memory has been Everlasting.

My task was working with the team making the Orzo Spinach Salad, and I’m not going to bore you with the process we went through to put this creation together.  But what I am going to do is share this wonderful recipe with you.  Only this recipe is not going to feed fifteen hundred guests. Thirty years later and still just as delicious – Everlasting.

Orzo Spinach Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided in half
  • 1lb lamb, cubed in bite size pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo pasta; cook for 5 minutes, or until al dente. Drain. Heat 1-tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the lamb and garlic in the skillet.  Season lamb with salt, and pepper.  Cook until evenly browned and juices run clear. Remove from heat, and drain. In a large bowl, mix the spinach, tomatoes, lemon juice and zest, mint, parsley, green onions, and remaining olive oil. Toss with the orzo, lamb, and feta cheese to serve.   Makes 6 servings.

I hope you find this article helpful.  Please leave your comments below.

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