Friday, 25 January 2013

Risoni with Chickpeas, Lemon, and Mint

Friday night last week ran away from me.  I got caught up at work, was late picking up Sylvia, and had to catch trams home because we are still carless after the recent accident.  Thanks to Pinterest, I knew exactly what I was making for dinner.  I'd seen an Orzo with Chickpeas, Lemon and Dill that seemed the answer to the dill lingering in the fridge.

My version was quite different.  I only found risoni - called "rice pasta" by Sylvia - which I assume is similar to orzo.  More critical to the flavour was my discovery that my dill had gone grey and slimy in the fridge.  I can't even remember why I originally bought it.  Fortunately I had some fresh mint and used this instead.

It was fairly quick to put together.  Perhaps too quick.  I rushed through it.  The salad was rather bland.  (A bit like the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty that we watched that night.)  Later I found that I had forgotten the garlic.  I added it with some more salt before storing the salad in the fridge.

The next day, we had a large lunch and were happy to just eat some leftover salad for dinner.  It was far far nicer.  While I thought of it as salad, E considered it pasta.  He heated his and added Tabasco sauce.  On the third night we ate it with cheeseymite scones.  I even had a wee bit leftover for lunch on Monday.  It was just the sort of salad I love to see us through a relaxed summer weekend.

Definitely an interesting salad.  I am not sure about the nuts in it but I did wonder about adding chopped red capsicum and using rice instead of risoni.  So many possibilities.  I am sending this to Ricki of Diet Dessert and Dogs for her Wellness Weekends.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Happy Burns Night - Haggis Stuffed Mushrooms
Two years ago:  PPN Lentil Ravioli - and a Potato Salad
Three years ago: A week of firsts
Four years ago: Apricot History and a Chutney
Five years ago: Heavenly Truffles and Mysteries

Risoni with Chickpeas, Lemon, and Mint
Adapted from A Little Bit Crunchy, A Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll
serves 6

500g (approximate 2 cups) uncooked risoni
2 cup peas
2 large spring onions, finely sliced (I think it was about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
zest of 1 medium lemon
juice of 3 medium lemons
about 2 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon French lavendar salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3/4 cup chopped roasted cashews

Cook risoni in salted water for 8 minutes (or according to packet instructions).  Drain and set aside.

While risoni is cooking, cook peas and prepare remaining ingredients.  Place in a large salad bowl.  Add warm pasta and mix well.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Keeps well in fridge for 3 days.

On the Stereo:
Words and Music (LP): Billy Connolly

12 comments:

  1. I love anything with dill so I bet I would have loved that version. This actually sounds great to me! I used to eat orzo all the time. . . my solution for blandness in this type of thing is to cook the pasta in broth. Works every time! ;)

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    1. Thanks Ricki - I like dill but always forget to use it - foolishly I have bought some more so must remember to us it this time :-) Cooking the pasta in broth would have helped here I think - good idea

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  2. I think it looks really appealing. Simple but tasty :)

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    1. Thanks Jac - it is great and lasted ages - I had meant to send it to pasta please until I realised the theme was cheese - oh well at least graham can eat it :-)

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  3. For what it's worth, orzo means barley in Italian, and riso means rice, which should give you an idea of their relative sizes in pasta form! They are pretty much substitutable.

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    1. Thanks Catherine - that is really useful info for remembering the difference

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  4. Looks great to me - I like things like this that can be taken to work and eaten as salads...much nicer than a boring sambo.

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    1. Thanks Mel - yes it was great for work - although it was quite garlicky so I hoped it didn't reek too much :-)

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  5. Isn't it funny when you plan a meal to use a certain ingredient, and then that ingredient is unavailable (either due to being wilted / off or it has inexplicably disappeared when you thought it was there!)? It looks like this worked out well in the end though, especially with the seasoning changes after the first night. I rarely use risoni but also think of it as orzo, and enjoy it when I do have it - perfect for summer, as you say.

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    1. Thanks Kari - I had made a chickpea, lemon and mint soup a while back so I was pretty sure that mint would work - just as well or I would have had to get very creative. I think I should use more risoni because it was a nice change to the usual pasta or rice

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  6. That looks really good and lovely and fresh. You can't go wrong with lemon and mint.

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    1. Thanks Katie - lemon and mint is a great combination - quite summery which makes it just right for this time of year

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