|I should probably say this is a lunch-sized plate, not a dinner plate, but the photo doesn't offer that perspective.|
I saw this recipe in the Summer 2015 issue of the Kansas Farm Bureau's Kansas Living Magazine, and I knew I wanted to give it a try. We weren't disappointed.
Perfectly grilled medium rare slices of seasoned sirloin steak are perched on top of orzo pasta combined with colorful grape tomatoes, chopped green onion and feta cheese in a light vinaigrette. The original recipe called for soy nuts. I didn't have time to make a run to Glenn's Bulk Foods, where I might have been able to purchase them (though I'm not sure about that). But, since Randy isn't the biggest nut fan (not counting me, of course - ha), I just deleted the nuts. Leaving out salted nuts makes the addition of some salt a must to this recipe, though. I did throw a few shelled and salted pistachios on my serving of leftover salad, which was delicious.
This made a lot, so we've enjoyed it as leftovers, too. The recipe says to keep 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette separate to be able to add later. Even though pasta salad often absorbs moisture, we haven't added any additional dressing as we've eaten the leftovers.
Dairy Month or Beef Month or any old month ... This recipe is a keeper!
Orzo Pasta Salad
with Grilled Steak
From Kansas Farm Bureau's
Country Living magazine, Summer 20151 1/2 to 2 lbs. beef steak, seasoned and grilled to desired doneness
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. chicken base paste (I used a bouillon powder)
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. orzo pasta
Additional chicken broth, base or bouillon
2 cups red and/or yellow teardrop or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup feta crumbles (can be plain and/or sun-dried tomato feta)
1/2 cup minced fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 cup sliced green onions
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup soy nuts (opt.)
Cook orzo pasta according to package directions, using chicken broth (or water flavored with paste or bouillon instead of water). While orzo is cooking, prepare dressing by combining vinegar, lemon juice, honey and chicken base pasta. Whisk in olive oil. (If fresh basil isn't available, add the dried basil to the dressing)
When orzo is cooked, drain completely, then place into large serving bowl. Toss with tomatoes, feta, basil and green onions. Add all but 1/3 cup of dressing and toss to coat. Stir in soy nuts (if desired) and serve immediately with steak, which has been grilled to desired temperature and cut into strips across the grain.
Keep remainder of dressing on hand in the refrigerator for serving with salad at a later time. (Pasta absorbs moisture, so additional dressing may need to be added; however, we didn't find that to be the case with this salad.)
Note: Soy nuts are not something I can get at my grocery store, so I did not use them. I did use some salted pistachios on some leftover salad, and that was tasty.