Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dilled Tuna Orzo

I found this recipe in "20 Minute Super Suppers, Fresh and Simple" by Better Homes and Gardens. I do love this book for it's tasty 20 minute suppers, like Coyote Pizza and Fabulous Focaccia Sandwiches. We ate this Dilled Tuna Orzo warm for dinner early in the week, then I ate it cold for lunch for the next two days. This recipe works well for a light dinner, lunch, or a side salad. I loved all of the flavors and textures at play here: the dill, the mustard, the lemon....the crunch of the cucumber, the sweetness of the roasted pepper. I began by following the recipe exactly. Then I gave it a taste. For the most part it worked...but I wasn't super impressed. As it turned out, this recipe was a work in progress and I didn't get it right until the second day. After the first taste, I immediately doubled the dressing. It needed more. After adding more dressing, it was better but still not there. It needed something else. I was thinking feta. Since I didn't have any feta, I grated some Cojita cheese over the top and stirred it in. Again, it was better, but still not there. This is where I stopped and we ate it for dinner with some lovely steamed asparagus. The next day for lunch, I added some chopped tomato and a little more pepper. It was nearly perfect. The next time I'll add a little diced red onion too and then...perfection!

You start with 1 1/2 cups of orzo. Just in case you're not familiar with orzo, it looks like rice, but it's really pasta.

Cook, then rinse and drain.

You could poach your own tuna, but I just opened a can of tuna (packed in water), drained it, and broke it into chunks.

I seeded a cucumber and chopped it. I actually peeled mine too. Why? Because the skin on the cucumber *blush* makes me burp. Weird but true. I don't know why. If you don't have this problem, I'd recommend leaving the skin on. It adds color. : )

Combine the orzo, tuna, cucumber, roasted red pepper (and if you're following my revised recipe)chopped tomato, and red onion in a bowl.

In a jar with a lid, combine Dijon mustard, olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and dill. Shake until combined.

Pour the dressing over the orzo and veggies and toss to combine.

If you like, grate some Cojita cheese or crumble some feta over the top, then stir it in.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm or chilled. This is how we ate it for dinner the first night; warm with asparagus:

And this is how I ate it for lunch over the next couple of days, chilled with chopped tomato added in:

This one was definitely worth "playing with" until I got it right!

Dilled Tuna Orzo adapted from 20 Minute Super Suppers Fresh and Simple by Better Homes and Gardens

1 1/2 cups orzo
6 oz. canned tuna, broken into chunks
1 small to medium sized tomato, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup diced red onion
2-3 tablespoons drained and snipped roasted red peppers
1/3 cup grated Cojita cheese or crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (more or less to taste) snipped fresh dill

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain in colander. Rinse with cold water; drain again. Transfer to a large bowl. Add tuna, tomato, cucumber, red onion, roasted red pepper, and cheese. Toss to combine. Add dressing ingredients to a jar with a lid. Screw on the lid and shake until dressing is combined. Pour dressing over orzo mixture. Toss to coat with dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.


Kim said...

I am all about dill right now. It's like I can't get enough of it - LOL! Looks like this orzo salad would help satisfy my dill cravings. Hope you all are enjoying your weekend.

theUngourmet said...

You had me at Dill!! ;D

This looks terrific and I like that it can be served hot or cold. I'm glad you didn't give up but kept tweaking the recipe until you were happy with it! Very nice!

Mary | Deep South Dish said...

Recipe development in progress! Hope you're having a great weekend.

teresa said...

what a lovely side dish! so fresh and healthy!

Anonymous said...

Looks delish!

WendyLynders said...

I am going to have to try this. It looks so very amazing.

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