Rather than indulging ourselves in a traditional Fat Tuesday feast, we opted to go the healthy route this evening. And not only did our dinner end up being absolutely delicious, but it also left us way more satisfied than if we’d had a crazy, calorie-laden throwdown.
For the main course, we made one of our favorite new recipes, Orzo with Shallots, Kale and Walnuts, from one of our favorite new books, The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook.
Made with NW natives in mind, this book includes 200 yummy, meat-free recipes (appetizers, soups, entrees, desserts—you name it!) that are easy to follow and good for your health. What we love most about The Northwest Vegetarian is that the authors also recommend local places (in Oregon and Washington) where you can find the best all-natural, organic ingredients for each recipe. For example, find apples for your apple crisp from the Portland Farmer’s Market at Portland State University or onions for your quiche from the Walla Walla Valley. You get some amazing recipes, but you also get some amazing personalized advice on how to make any veggie dish shine.
This orzo works well hot or cold and for dinner or for lunch. We lerve it. And we seriously cannot stress enough how simple it is to throw together!
Orzo with Shallots, Kale and Walnuts
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced shallots
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup Riesling (*we often use Hogue, from the Columbia Valley, which has a nice combo of apricot, peach and honey notes)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c orzo
2 cups finely chopped fresh kale
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted [*The authors recommend getting your walnuts from Grouse Mountain Farm in Chelan, Washington (which, ironically enough, is one of Lindsey's favorite places in the world—her aunt and uncle have a house there).]
1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, shallots and cayenne. Stir and cook until the shallots are soft and lightly browned. Add the Riesling and stir. Add water and salt and bring to a boil.
2. Add the orzo. Reduce heat to medium and cook until liquid has been absorbed by the pasta, about 13 minutes. Stir in the kale and cook until wilted. Blend in walnuts.