Kerr Street Cafe Orzo Salad

22 May

Two weeks ago, I told asked Dustin if he wouldn’t mind helping me out at an event I was working in Toronto.  Little did he realize that event would require him to get up at 5:30am and help me make upwards of 500 grilled cheese sandwiches and countless custom t-shirts for thousands of people.   Gotta love event marketing 😉

To thank him for putting up with me, and not being too grumpy for getting up super early on a Sunday morning, I treated him to lunch at one of his favorite spots in Oakville- the Kerr Street Cafe.

Random fact: we both grew up in Oakville, went to the same high school (in the same grade) and managed to spend those four years without actually speaking to each other.  Funny how these things work out, eh? <—-I’m not at all Canadian…

Anyway, Dustin insisted that we get their Orzo salad to share with our mains (a delicious chana masala for me, Chorizo frittata for him) and I was immediately blown away by the flavor of this salad.  Truth be told, I am not the biggest fan of pasta salads. I usually find them bland and mushy and would rather have greens than grains/pasta mixed with my veggies and dressing.   That was so not the case here.  This was sweet and tangy, and the unexpected hints of curry totally brought me over to the dark side.

Obviously, I had to put my own spin on it and give you the recipe.

Two things are now for certain:

1)      You need to make this salad

2)      Dustin will probably never again agree to help me at an event

To all the Oakville-area people, I definitely recommend you head over to the Kerr Street Café to check out their menu and amazing cappuccinos.  They will even make you one with almond milk should you be so inclined.

Orzo and Wild Rice Pasta Salad

1 c. dried orzo

Water for boiling

½ c. wild rice

1 c. water

½ c. dried cranberries

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 medium carrot, grated

1 c. sunflower seeds

Curried sweet and sour dressing

¼ c. white wine vinegar

Juice from 1 lime

1 tbsp curry powder

¼ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground coriander

1 clove of garlic minced

½ c. olive oil

2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro

Directions

Bring a medium sauce pan of water to boil, add in your orzo and cook until al dente.  Drain and rinse with cold water and then set aside.

In a separate small sauce pan, combine water and wild rice, bring to a boil and cook until liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat and allow it to come to room temperature.  Mix with orzo.

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, lime juice, spices, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil.  Mix well to combine, taste and adjust seasonings.

In a large bowl combine orzo and wild rice, carrot, bell pepper, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries.  Pour over dressing and toss to combine.  Season the salad with salt and fresh ground pepper and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Bon Appetit!

Jess

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