Appetizers, Dinner, Pasta / Grains, Snacks, Vegetarian

Miss Mary’s Orzo Salad

Orzo:  For a Germ Free Picnic

For the most part, new Food Network hostess Mary Nolan has gone unnoticed and unheralded since her episodes began airing this summer. To be perfectly honest I mostly tune in because I really like her hair. Although, she absolutely freaked me out during the “Posh Picnic” episode when she repeatedly touched raw meat, followed by the blender, and finished off her germ spreading spree with a good hard pull on the refrigerator handle. Most of you probably didn’t even notice, but I’m a total germaphobe. I practically went into apoplectic shock after they discontinued the Dawn “Wash ‘n’ Toss” because that meant I would have to use sponges to wash dishes. Sponges seriously gross me out.

Even after all of those cooking missteps, I still wanted to try some of the recipes from Mary’s show. Her hair must really be impressive, right? Seriously though this salad is absolutely delicious. The tangy sugar laced dressing is amazing paired with corn and creamy avocado chunks. CK and I ate this for three days and never complained once. So Mary you (or at least your Orzo Salad) get our stamp of approval. PS: I know your Food Network kitchen is fake and all, but just try to wash your hands once in a while, OK?

Orzo Salad (recipe courtesy of Mary Nolan)

1 cup whole-wheat orzo pasta (Note: I used regular Orzo)
3 ears corn, shucked and kernels removed from cob (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Bring a pot of generously salted water to a rapid boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions, adding the corn in the last minute of cooking, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl. Set aside. Pour the lime juice over the avocado and coat evenly (this will minimize discoloration). Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Drizzle over the orzo and add the avocado with lime juice, tomatoes, and parsley. Mix until combined and serve warm or at room temperature.