Everything you could want in a spring salad is happening in this bowl….
I’m having a bit of a crisis right now. Other than the fact that it’s the first Monday after Daylight Savings (ugh!). I’ve had a terrible craving for seafood lately. Back when we lived in Dallas, we’d eat some type of seafood at least once per week. Thanks to the life-changing seafood counter at Central Market, we had access to often great prices on mahi mahi, halibut, Chilean sea bass, the best wild-caught varieties of salmon, crab, jumbo scallops – you name it, Central Market would have it! That’s not the case here, however, smack dab in the middle of Missouri. Far from it, may I add. There’s only a few varieties of fish available, all of it ha been pre-frozen, and most of it tastes really…..fishy.
Tell me, if you’re experienced with my situation, what should I do??? Is there some kind of seafood co-op I can join? Do you live in central MO and know of a good place to get fresh seafood? HELP!
Despite the very unfortunate seafood famine going on in my life, I bit the bullet and purchased some decent salmon this week because I was CRAVING this orzo salad I’m sharing with you today. I used to make this for friends and personal chef clients all the time when I lived in Dallas, and it was a favorite for everyone! It’s basically just something I threw together one day based on what I had in the refrigerator -you know, one of those “no recipe recipes” that people ask about and you reply “oh, I just added a little of this and a little of that.” Except this time I made it and measured everything carefully so I could share it with you.
Let’s talk about the goodies in the salad – there’s definitely some mediterranean inspiration going on here. Creamy feta meets a an herbal, zippy lemon dressing. I love a good lemon + salmon + dill combo just as much as the next person, so we’re keeping things traditional in the flavor department in that sense. The addition of orzo technically makes this a pasta salad; and if you told me you were going to make this for your first picnic of the spring season, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to do so! Oh yes, and there’s perfectly tender pieces of spring asparagus and little juicy tomatoes in their too. I like to give my asparagus a quick blanch for this recipe, as the process makes the asparagus a gorgeous bright green color and yields just the right amount of crunch.
My favorite way to serve it is chilled, with some Bibb lettuce leaves on the side to make little wraps or with some toasted bread slices for scooping. This is great to pack for lunch, but if you can’t eat the whole recipe within two days, just make half a recipe.
Did you make this recipe? If so, I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or tag a picture of your creation on Instagram with the tag #sweetcayenne – it’s great to connect with you!