Can't Face Lettuce?
Enter the Orzone™️
WE LOVE LETTUCE here in the salad lab. Obviously. And on most days, I’d prefer a surprise delivery of bunches of beautiful, polychromatic salad leaves, crisp and cool, over a bouquet of expensive flowers. (That’s a business I’d invest in.)
The problem: everyone knows that so many lettuces and their cousins can be as prissy in their fragility as the most temperamental orchid—if not more.
Which probably explains all the positive feedback we received recently over at the DOS Communications Headquarters (my iPhone) regarding a salad built from classic flavor combos and zero lettuce.
It’s become favorite dish for harried times, when I don’t want to get out the salad spinner or, worse, realize I’ve accidentally allowed precious greens to go all limp and unappetizing. (I don’t buy the expensive clamshell boxes of “mixed baby field greens” or whatever Big Lettuce is calling them. I use these methods to avoid leafy greens funerals in my fridge. No greens live forever; you are responsible for them and must see yourself as a caretaker of sorts.)
Since I’ve eaten a version of it for such a long time, I’d begun to see last issue’s salad as a culinary version of khaki pants. But I now believe that rather than underestimate the power of our most familiar dishes, we should share them. You never know how a meal you’ve always taken for granted will be embraced by others until you offer it up—and let me tell you: sometimes timing is everything.
With that in mind, please enjoy this kitchen-sink orzo salad that is perfect for using up the nibs and nubs and odds and ends and bits and bobs and morsels in your crisper and cabinets. (Like all the extra stuff I brought into this kitchen here in Virginia, which I’m leaving today. I’ll miss this green kitchen and all the blossoms.)
It really is a kitchen-sink salad (and a great picnic salad or lunchbox salad), and I like that it’s heavier on vegetables than on orzo. You could load it up with even more vegetables; go ahead and double the dressing if you’re going to really eat the rainbow.
The mint is coming up in Virginia, so that’s what I used here, along with some basil I found still fresh and crisp thanks to the paper towel in a plastic bag method I linked to earlier.
My cousin Toni is here now (it’s the house she grew up in, so I have to share my Aunt Mariah with her, apparently), and while I was putting it together, we kept remembering things we had around that would be delicious to add.