Lemon Orzo

We’re having a family dinner today and my mom is serving this salad with grilled steak and salmon. I’m not certain of its origin but it is one my mom uses often and everyone loves. You can make it ahead of time and then warm before serving, in which case you may need to add a little more oil. I think it would also be delicious as a cold salad for a casual lunch. This recipe is fresh, easy and inexpensive to make.

Serves 6 as a side dish

1/2 pound Orzo pasta
Kosher salt & pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Zest of 2 large lemons
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley

  • Cook the orzo in salted water about 12 minutes or al dente
  • Drain the pasta but do not rinse under water
  • Pour the drained pasta into a large bowl
  • Add the olive oil, lemon zest, parsley, salt and pepper to the pasta and mix.
  • Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Summer Sangria

You certainly don’t need an excuse to make this because sipping it in your back yard is reason enough, but it’s also a great drink for parties. This sangria is fun, delicious, and  inexpensive to make. The recipe was given to me by a co-worker and I’m not certain of its origin.

The longer sangria sits before drinking, the smoother it will taste, which is another reason it is a perfect make-ahead cocktail for entertaining. A full day is best, but if that’s not possible  give it an absolute minimum of 2 hours to sit. Use large, heavy, juicy oranges and lemons for the best flavor. Doubling or tripling the recipe is fine but you’ll need to switch to a large punch bowl in place of the pitcher.



Serves 8 – 10

3 oranges (1 orange sliced, 2 oranges juiced)
1 large lemon, sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Triple Sec
2 Bottles of Dry, medium-bodied red wine, chilled

  • In a large pitcher add sliced orange, sliced lemon, sugar, triple sec, and orange juice. Stir gently until fruit releases some juice and sugar dissolves, 1 minute.
  • Add the wine and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours. I typically I make it the evening before for the best flavor.
  • To serve, fill a glass full of ice along with whatever chopped fruit you have available. Pour the sangria to the top and enjoy.