Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mediterranean Orzo Spinach Salad

I don't know what possessed me to try this recipe. I was in the mood for lamb (having just had a delicious Lamb Henry at the General Burgoyne in Great Urswick) and this Mediterranean recipe includes ground lamb and coriander (which I've not used before). Surprisingly, the orzo tripped me up.

We get most of our groceries at the smaller shops in Ulverston or, when necessary, Booths (Ulverston) or Morrisons (Barrow in Furness). I was able to find everything except orzo but found "62 - Pasta A Riso" and that would have to be close enough. In retrospect, I suppose rice would have worked.

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Note: The original recipe calls for the addition of feta cheese as a final step. [I haven't yet acquired a taste for cheese unless it's melted and topping a mushroom and black olive pizza.]

4 cups spinach leaves, roughly chopped (300g bag)
4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves (about 20 leaves or a 15g package)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (about 5 sprigs)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup uncooked orzo (tiny bullets of pasta)
500g minced lamb (about 1 lb)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground coriander
salt and pepper
6 green onions (salad onions), chopped

1. Prep
Roughly chop the spinach leaves and place into a really large bowl.
Add the chopped tomatoes, the lemon juice, the mint and parsley. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the top and set aside.

2. Stovetop
Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente (about 7 minutes); drain.

3. Stovetop
While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the lamb and garlic. Season with coriander and a splash of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the meat is browned. Spoon out the grease. Add the green onions and heat another 5 minutes, stirring often.

4. Stovetop
Slowly add the bowl of greens to the skillet - perhaps half at a time - just to cook it all down a bit. Finally, add the cooked orzo to the skillet and toss well.

5. Serve with rolls and butter. Enjoy!

[Adapted from allrecipes.com]

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