Saturday night – 07/03/10

The menu this week took some time to come together. I didn’t finally figure out what I was going to make until Saturday morning. Normally I have the menu worked out several days in advance and hit the grocery store Friday after work.

Part of the difficulty has been trying to incorporate produce from our CSA box. We don’t pick that up until Thursday afternoon and it’s always interesting to see what the box holds. This week we received lovely carrots, fava beans, beets, radishes, lettuce, radishes, bok choy and basil. We also had some fennel & rainbow carrots left over from last week.

The farmer sends out a newsletter on Thursday with a description of everything. This week he included a recipe for an orzo salad which used fennel & fava beans. I’ve included the recipe under the cut below.

The Menu
Grilled chicken thighes
Oleana-style orzo salad
Grill roasted beets
Roasted rainbow carrots
Ted Bread

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert

Our CSA is from a farm that also supplies the Cambridge restaurant Oleana with produce. In fact the farmer is married to the chef/owner of the restaurant. Anyway here’s the recipe for the orzo salad. I served it warm, having finished it about 20 minutes before we ate dinner.

Ingredients
8 servings

2 bulbs of fennel, outer leaves removed, cored & finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic, about 2 large cloves
¼ cup olive oil
1 bunch scallions, ¾ of the top trimmed and chopped
1 pound orzo, cooked
2 cups pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 cup of shucked favas [about 2 pounds, favas with shell]
½ cup finely chopped dill (about a bunch)
½ cup finely chopped parsley
Zest and juice of one lemon
1 ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions
Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove the fava beans from the pod as you would peas. Drop favas in the water and cook for 1 minute. Drain and run under cold water until cool enough to handle. Nick the end of each fava bean and [op the favas out of their shell by pinching them slightly.

In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in fennel and sauté until the fennel starts to turn translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and scallions and toss to coat. Remove from the heat.

Stir in cooked orzo, olives, favas, herbs, lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

The original recipe called for the feta to be incorporated into the salad after allowing it to cool to room temp. I served it on the side as I don’t particularly like the taste however some of our friends really enjoy it.

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