Chickpea- Orzo Salad with Harissa-Roasted Eggplant, Nutty Fried Rice, and Summer Quinoa Pilaf
A hearty grain salad, chock full of vegetables, can be just the right thing to have in the fridge for a busy night. Great on the first day, even better the day after when all you want is to scoop up a bowl full of something delicious. We have three options this week that are vegetarian, full of vegetables, and leave you more than satisfied.
To be honest, since orzo is technically a pasta we can’t quite call this a grain salad. We’re including it anyway because its just that tasty. We couldn’t get over how much we loved the pairing of chickpeas with roasted eggplant and red pepper. What took it over the edge were the luxe add-ins of walnuts, green olives, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
- Harissa, a red pepper paste from North Africa, binds the whole salad together. Taste test your jar first before adding it to the salad. Too spicy? Drizzle in some olive oil to spread out the heat.
- This recipe makes a large batch but keeps well in the fridge.
- Eggplant can be a divisive vegetable. If you’re not a fan, maybe try another recipe. We found it to be the lynchpin of the whole salad.
A perennial take out favorite, fried rice is not necessarily known as the healthy option. Cooking Light makes it more nutritious with bunch of broccoli and mushrooms, less oil, and crunchy cashews for health fat and protein. Nevermind all that- we think this fried rice is tastier than takeout, too.
- Shiitake mushrooms can be difficult to find and expensive. Cremini (baby bella) mushrooms are a fine substitute.
- Get a good sear on your mushrooms and broccoli for maximum flavor. Use a higher heat and don’t stir too often. But be watchful they don’t burn.
Summer Quinoa Pilaf by Joy Manning :Washington Post
Sad to say, summer is surely gone. That doesn’t mean we can’t make Joy Manning’s grain salad and keep hold to those last sunny days. Broiled (aka charred) red peppers and corn are tossed with toasted quinoa, pepitas, cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese. Maybe summer isn’t that far away.
- For the non-goat cheese fans in your family, serving it as a sprinkle on the side worked well.
- Shhh! Don’t tell Joy, but we reheated this salad in the microwave very successfully.
From the Smorgasbord:
More air fryer tips:
- Duncan Hinz has air fryer friendly cake mixes. Worth keeping and eye peeled. Join an air fryer Facebook group if you’re looking for even more advice and tips. They’re very active and informative.
We did some fall baking:
- Kate made Julia Turshen’s Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese and Honey Cake.
- Betsy made Joy the Baker’s Apple Pie Biscuits.