Orzo Pasta Salad with Asparagus, Feta, Artichoke Hearts, and Sun-dried Tomatoes

D&D_1854So we had an abundance of feta cheese at the office – it is a long story, but I decided to make something of it. For Easter I thought a pasta salad would be good, but something light and fresh. So here is what I did. Another non-recipe recipe, but there it is.

8 ozs Orzo, al dente
1/2 pound asparagus, blanched until bright green (30 second – 1 minute) and the cooled, cut into 1 inch pieces
16 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and diced, or frozen
1/2 8.5 oz jarred sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut, drained*
2 Tbs minced chives
Feta crumbles from the office – not sure how much, but just make it look good with the color contrast

Vinaigrette –
juice and zest of one lemon
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup minced chives
salt/pepper to taste**

While the orzo is cooking, mix together vinaigrette ingredients in a decent sized serving bowl.  Once orzo is drained, add the hot pasta to the vinaigrette. Let the orzo soak up all that flavor. All that lemon.

Mix in all the other pasta salad ingredients and serve at room temperature.

What could be easier? I am not entirely sure especially since I had it all on hand – thanks work for the feta. Have to take the perks when you get them.

I feel proud of this – I mixed a lot of things together and it really worked.  Thank you Nigella for the vinaigrette recipe.

*I usually use dried tomatoes that I rehydrate in hot water, but this time oil-packed made more sense to me.

** I hate this expression. Do people not really know to taste things and season them with salt and pepper if necessary. Or maybe add more acid with some lemon or vinegar. Now I am being that food person that everyone says I am. Sigh.

Brunch – my favorite meal of the week

New website that we found that I find highly amusing. This was one of my favorites, particularly the Hierarchy of a Bloody Mary

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My favorite brunch place

I am a huge fan of brunch, especially at one of my favorite places, Jaco’s at the Palafox Pier marina in downtown Pensacola at the very end of Palafox Street. I mean the idea of sitting outside with a nice breeze and a mimosa each Sunday for nine to ten months a year. Life could be so much worse.

I do wish I could do the brunch thing everyday, but for that I would have to move to NOLA and, as much as I love that place, I wouldn’t because I would have to leave the bay and the beach. Can’t do that. Just not possible. I’ve never been happier any where than here.

So I’ll take my weekly brunch and enjoy myself. A poinsettia (champagne and cranberry) does make make me happy and three can set me up for the whole day. Even if I have to forgo brunch until there is the next weekend. Ugh. Work is just a thing.  That I hate, but there it is.