Friday, September 3, 2010

Orzo Salad with Grilled Broccolini and Sausage

One of my girlfriends recently turned me on to Fine Cooking, a magazine she subscribes to, and in browsing through a recent issue I knew I had to try this dish. I love the combination of sausage and greens, and could only imagine that grilling them along with red onion would make this a satisfying end-of-summer meal. I don't cook with orzo very much but I loved it here, and the olives and capers added a beautiful briny note to the salad.

The recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken sausage, but I used a raw spicy chicken-turkey sausage, that I poached for 10 minutes before grilling to ensure it was cooked through. I finished the dish with some fresh basil -- my three pots' worth are threatening to take over my balcony so I'm using it wherever possible -- and it worked really well with the other flavours. I reheated this salad the next day and it was still good -- I added some halved grape tomatoes to change it up a bit. Super-easy, this dish. Will definitely be making it again, maybe switching up the sausage variety and/or the type of vegetable used.

Orzo Salad with Grilled Broccolini and Sausage

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup pitted picholine olives (or other mild green olives), quartered
1-1/2 Tbs. capers, rinsed and chopped
1 large bunch (about 12 oz.) broccolini, trimmed
1 large red onion (12 oz.), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Kosher salt
4 cooked chicken sausages
8 oz. (1-1/4 cups) dried orzo
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare a medium gas or charcoal grill fire. In a large bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the oil and the vinegar. Stir in the olives and capers and set aside.
Arrange the broccolini and onion on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and sprinkle with about 1 tsp. salt.

Grill the broccolini, onion, and sausages (with the lid closed), flipping halfway through cooking, until the vegetables have softened and charred slightly, 7 to 10 minutes for the broccolini and 10 to 12 minutes for the onions, and the sausages are browned and heated through, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the orzo until it’s just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Coarsely chop the broccolini and onion, and cut the sausages into bite-size pieces; stir them into the dressing. Add the orzo, toss to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
Serves 4
Source: Fine Cooking, May 2010

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