Hello! Here’s hoping everyone is holding up alright in this relentless heat wave we seem to be stuck in, and although this is a food column, I’m pretty certain the last thing any of us want to think about right now is adding heat to our homes by way of cooking! So, I’ll keep this short and oven-less.
The recipe that follows is one I have made more times than I can count, and never tire of. Back in the days of young children, we would bring a big containerful of this salad on vacation with us every year, for lunches on the beach or as a side dish to grilled fish or burgers and hot dogs. It can be served chilled or at room temperature, and keeps brilliantly as leftovers. And hack-alert: you can mix in a can of good-quality tuna to change it up for a more substantial meal.
The only cooking involved here is a relatively quick boil on the stovetop for the orzo; otherwise, it’s all fresh, local farm-stand fare. Which should minimize perspiration and limit the number of death-stares from anyone passing through the kitchen as you throw this together.
Serving this alongside a crunchy green salad and a few slices of grilled ciabatta — rubbed with a fresh garlic clove and loaded up with halved cherry tomatoes marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, then sprinkled with torn fresh basil — is a perfect, super-easy, summer dinner. No sweat. Literally.
Keep cool, and keep on cooking (just don’t turn on the oven in July and August). -HK
Orzo with Garbanzo Beans,
Goat Cheese and Oregano
1½ cups orzo
¼ cup olive oil
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 5-oz. package soft, fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Cook orzo in boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain.
Whisk olive oil, lemon juice and garlic to blend in a large serving bowl. Add the drained chickpeas, cooked orzo and chopped oregano; toss salad to coat. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Gently stir in crumbled goat cheese.
Serve salad warm or at room temp.