Saturday, December 25, 2010

Arugula, Avocado + Citrus Salad

This is a wonderful and simple winter salad right when citrus is at its peak. The almonds add a nice crunch and the olives a good salty bite that pairs well with the creamy avocado. 

Arugula, Avocado + Citrus Salad
Serves 2

1 bunch baby arugula, washed and dried
1 clementine, peeled, separated into segments and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 avocado, pitted and diced
black kalamata olives, sliced
slivered almonds, toasted
4 Tbsp, or more, extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp dijon mustard
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

To make the dressing, combine the dijon mustard and the lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until it emulsifies. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the arugula, avocado and olives in a bowl. Toss with dressing and top with toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

Maple Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Shitake Mushrooms

I threw this dish together on a whim, so feel free to play with other flavor combinations that you think could work or that you might have on hand. I used this maple vinaigrette from a recent salad experiment and it complimented the flavors really well.  This hearty dish is perfect on a cold night. Serve with a fresh citrus and avocado salad or a shaved raw Brussels sprouts salad for a complete meal.

Maple Quinoa with Butternut Squash and Shitake Mushrooms
Serves 3-4 as a main dish

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into bite-sized pieces
1 cup quinoa
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 onion, cut into small dice
1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
handful of pine nuts, toasted 
handful of dried cranberries
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
5 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
freshly chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spread the butternut squash pieces out on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the maple syrup. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in the oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes until the squash is tender (a fork should easily be able to slide in and out).

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa by dry toasting in a saucepan for a minute or so. Add 2 cups water and and pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook for about 10-15 minutes until all of the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

To make the dressing, combine 3 Tbsp vinegar and 2 Tbsp maple syrup in a bowl. Whisk in 4 Tbsp olive oil until combined. Add sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the garlic and onions and saute until just fragrant and the onions become translucent. Add in the mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. Then add the butternut squash, cranberries, and 1 cup of the quinoa. Stir to combine. Drizzle with the dressing and top with the pine nuts and freshly chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Spinach + Quinoa Salad with Pears, Chickpeas and Pecans

 'Tis the Season with warm, wintry flavors. I made this salad over the Thanksgiving weekend but it's festive enough to remain on your menu throughout the holidays. The bright cranberries adds a wonderful color, flavor and texture that compliments the nuttiness from the walnuts and protein punch from the quinoa and chickpeas. Drizzle with a maple vinaigrette for a seasonal touch.  You could use pears or apples in this recipe- either one will work.

Spinach + Quinoa Salad with Pears, Chickpeas and Pecans
Serves 6 as a side dish
1 cup quinoa 
2  handfuls of organic baby spinach leaves, washed, drained
1 large ripe pear, washed, stemmed and cored, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed, drained
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Freshly chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Dry toast the quinoa in a saucepan for a few minutes. Add 2 cups fresh water and a pinch of sea salt to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer, cover and cook until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is tender, about 10-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.

To make the dressing, combine the balsamic vinegar and pure maple syrup in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

Combine the spinach, pear, chickpeas, parsley cranberries and 1/2 of the quinoa in a bowl.  Fluff to combine. Pour on the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat, adding more quinoa if needed. Season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper. Just before serving, add the toasted pecans and lightly combine.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Recipes!

It's that time of year again! I know I'm a bit behind on posting this, but here are a few of the dishes that made the table at this year's Thanksgiving. There were a lot of repeats from last year, like the Brussels Sprouts and Apples and the Warm Butternut Squash and Arugula, my mother-in-law's Wild Rice Salad, Oatmeal Crunch Apple Crisp...they've definitely become staples.  I did decide to give Pure Food and Wine's raw, vegan Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart a shot and we changed up my mother's traditional "candied yams" (or sweet potatoes with marshmallows and corn flakes, of course) to a slightly healthier version. These are all great ideas for your Christmas dinner in a few weeks!
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Serves 6

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated (or less if you're not a big ginger fan)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil  
1/2 cup marshmallows
1/2 cup corn flakes

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees. Oil a medium-sized casserole dish. Wrap each sweet potato in foil, pierce numerous times with a fork and place in the oven for about an hour, until each is baked through (you should be able to slide a knife through the center flesh easily). Remove the potatoes from the oven, let them cool for a few minutes, then cut each sweet potato in half. Scrape the flesh into a large mixing bowl and mash the sweet potatoes with the coconut milk. Stir in the ginger, maple syrup and salt. Let sit for a few minutes, stir again and taste - adjust the seasoning if you need to. 

Spoon the sweet potato mixture into the baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and bake uncovered until warm, roughly 30 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with the marshmallows and corn flakes, alternating each in diagonal rows. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or so until the marshmallows toast and brown slightly.
Pure Food and Wine's Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart
Serves 6

For the tart crust:
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup fine almond flour
1/2 cup maple syrup crystals
1/4 cup coconut butter
pinch of sea salt

In a standard mixer with a paddle attachment, mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined into a dough. You can do this by hand as well, with a wooden spoon in a large bowl. Press the dough evenly into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill 1 hour or more.

For the ganache filling:
2 1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup coconut butter

Blend all of the filling ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste the ganache to make sure it's not grainy. If needed, blend further until completely smooth. Pour into the chilled tart crust. Place in the refrigerator to chill and set at least 3 hours.

For the vanilla cream:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours or more
1 cup coconut meat
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup coconut butter
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 tsp salt

Blend all the ingredients until completely smooth. Transfer to a separate container and refrigerate to chill and set, 2 hours or more.

Cut the tart into 12 slices (running the knife under hot water between each slice) and top each slice with a spoonful of the vanilla cream. I could not get enough of this!! Unbelievably decadent.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Culinary School

I know that I haven't blogged in quite some time and I feel incredibly guilty. But let me explain...I have just completed my fifth week of culinary school at the Natural Gourmet Institute.  After attending Fran Costigan's Vegan Baking Boot Camp there over the summer, I remember walking away feeling fully inspired, loving it, and thinking I’d never actually have the guts to apply and take on this full-time commitment. Running a healthy cookie company while teaching fitness classes at Physique 57, there was no way that this could be possible. The school is so unique to other culinary programs, as it includes classical training and cookery technique with a health-supportive and natural foods curriculum.  I will learn everything from French and Japanese knife skills to how foods contain healing and medicinal properties.  The first week alone I learned and practiced dozens of ways to cut a vegetable, I tasted distinctive fruits and vegatables, and I sat in on lectures covering various topics such as serving styles and food-borne illnesses.  I have since been introduced to every grain and bean that exsists, herbs and spices that I had never heard of, sea vegetables, soy proteins and whole foods lectures on the yin and yang and other theories on food energies. My fingers are cut up, my arms are sore, my feet ache, and my legs are usually swollen at the end of each day, and yet I couldn’t be happier. If you know me, or read my blog, you know that I have an obsession for food, in particular healthy foods, as well as a passion and need for movement. In order to live a healthful and balanced life, I believe that these two things go hand-in-hand. I am hoping to take my knowledge and skills to the next level and I think that this program will be a major stepping stone in that direction. I have already been introduced to so many things, I am excited to see what all is to come over the next several months. As life is handed to us all, sacrifices and changes were made in order to take on this challenge. I do look forward to getting back to the fitness world once I complete the program though I hope it will be with a new and different outlook, combining a culinary degree with my exsiting knowledge and background in movement and health. I invite you to stay with me along my journey to becoming a natural chef.  Please continue to support O'Cookies and follow along!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Roasted Squash + Ginger Apple Quinoa


Another night cooking with ingredients from the Hamptons I decided to stay on the apple track and add one of my all-time favorite Fall produce, the acorn squash. LifeThyme market has the best roasted vegetables in their hot bar these days, loaded with all types of squash, carrots, onions...picking up dinner from there has become quite a habit but I thought I'd put my own spin on things tonight and do things my own way.  This recipe was pretty much a test so the measurements are not exact. Feel free to play with your own flavors and let me know what you come up with!

Roasted Squash + Ginger Apple Quinoa
(Serves 2-3 as a main)

1 acorn squash, quartered and seeded
pure maple syrup
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
almond slivers, toasted
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 apple, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash cut-side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, pure maple syrup, sea salt and black pepper. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until you can easily poke with a fork.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes, until soft and translucent. Stir in the mushrooms and the apple and saute a few more minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and saute for another minute or so and then add the dijon mustard and toss until all of the flavors start to combine.

Add the cooked quinoa, some of the almonds and the parsley to the skillet and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Drizzle with a bit more pure maple syrup and toss to your liking.

Serve over the acorn squash and top with more almond slivers for a nice crunch.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hamptons + Fall Recipe

Just back from the weekend spent with my husband in the Hamptons celebrating our one year anniversary. The weather could not have been better.  The crisp air, the sun shining and the sea breeze somehow melts you back grounded to reality and takes your mind to another place.  We spent our time there apple and pumpkin picking, farmers' market hopping and eating at our favorite local spots. We came back to the city yesterday with both a weight lifted off of our shoulders and bags and bags full of  farm fresh produce to cook with all week.
There is something about hand-picking your own food literally off of a tree that inspires you to cook to another level, or maybe it's just the incredibly fresh ingredients that make you think that you did a better job.  Either way, the taste of my 'usual' thrown-together avocado-and-tomato-toast breakfast that morning was bursting with so much more flavor than usual...
First dinner sprouts and apples. I was first inspired by this dish from 101 Cookbook when I made it as a side over the Holidays last year. This time I added tempeh pieces to create a one skillet meal. I like to use Lightlife Wild Rice Tempeh. It has a nutty flavor and texture that adds 21 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per serving. I served this over brown rice for a main but you can leave out the tempeh if you prefer and keep this as a side dish (as I did for James) and serve alongside a roasted chicken or pork chop, for the non-vegans of course.  

Brussels Sprouts + Apples
(Serves 2-3 as a main)

1 large apple, cut into small wedges
the juice of one lemon
4 ounces tempeh, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
a couple splashes of pure maple syrup
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
12 ounces brussels sprouts, washed and cut into quarters or shredded into 1/8-inch ribbons
extra-virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt
Soak the apples in a bowl filled with water and the juice of the lemon. Set aside.

Blanch the brussels sprouts in salted boiling water for a minute or two, just until the color turns brightly green (you can skip this step if shredding the brussels sprouts into 1/8-inch ribbons). Set aside.

Heat a large pan and add a splash of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Add the tempeh cubes and cook, sauteing until golden brown, about 5 minutes or so.  Stir in the garlic and then add a splash of maple syrup (about 1 Tbsp), and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Drain the apples and add them to the skillet, cooking another minute or so. Scrape the apple and tempeh mixture into a bowl and set aside. 

Cook the brussels sprouts in the same pan by first adding another splash of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and turning up the heat to medium-high. Once the pan is hot, toss in the brussels sprouts and add another smaller splash of maple syrup and cook, sauteing for a couple of minutes until you get some golden edges and the rest are brightly colored. Stir the apple mixture back into the skillet and half of the pine nuts and gently toss to combine. Remove from heat immediately and serve with the remaining pine nuts.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Beautiful and vibrant, this soup is one of my go-to's to start a good healthy meal. Loaded with antioxidants, it's just filling enough with a big green kale salad topped with your favorite fixings. Depending on the season, I serve it warm or chilled. It's great both ways!

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 1-2 hours
2 red bell peppers, halved and seeded
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp sea salt
black pepper
juice from half a lemon
1/2 tsp agave
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 basil leaf, sliced (for garnish)

Roast the bell pepper halves by brushing with olive oil and placing under the broiler for about 8-10 minutes, or until the skin is slightly blackened.  Remove the skin immediately with a sharp knife.

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Heat the mixture in a saucepan on low heat until the temperature of your liking. Pour into bowls and garnish with chopped basil. Voila! Serve and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


A brief break from food and fitness... I wanted to share with you all that we've been lucky enough to have our wedding featured in both WellWed Magazine and WellWed Blog for their Fall real weddings. This made me realize that it has now almost been one year since James and I wed in the Hamptons and I never had the chance to write about our wedding. I guess I was so caught up in all of the planning, honeymooning and starting our new lives that I actually did not even post a thing about our nuptials! So here is a glimpse of our special weekend in Southampton, New York that took place on October 10, 2009 through the eyes of WellWed Magazine. Check out the special post on their blog with more details and our story here
Cheers, Erin

Friday, August 20, 2010

Local and [farmer's market] Fresh

Ahhh...another night cooking in the Hamptons. It's hard not to be completely inspired to cook good food out here. Driving around you pass farmers markets left and right with local produce and fresh fish markets with their catches of the day. We went to Round Swamp Farm yesterday to get inspired. This is one of my favorite places here. They have it all, local from land to sea and they also carry specialty products that are hard to find. They had extra large JUMBO prawns that immediately caught my eye. I was like a kid in a candy store (really, sort of embarrassed looking back by my reaction). We grabbed a few of these and made a round through their market picking up local corn, heirloom tomatoes and other fresh ingredients to prep for dinner.

I decided to start with a recipe that I came across on the blog, Green Lemonade. I love this blog! It is Noelle's journey to living a healthier and more natural life and it is completely inspiring. She recreated the Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Salad from East Hampton's Blue Parrot . Noelle made a macadamia nut pesto instead of the restaurant's cilantro pesto and since cilantro is probably the only ingredient that my husband will not eat, I decided to go the same route. This was just incredible. The textures of the ripe tomato with the creamy avocado and crunchy macadamia nuts with the fresh basil was a party in my mouth. You can find the full recipe here. Let me know what you think!
We followed with a Sweet Corn Quinoa and Simply Grilled Jumbo Prawns. I added diced cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green onions and pine nuts to the quinoa and dressed it with a sweet Dijon vinaigrette. The meal came together so beautifully, we already had the leftovers for lunch today!

Sweet Corn Quinoa
Serves about 4

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 ears of sweet corn
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup cucumber, diced
2 stalks scallion, thinly sliced
pine nuts, toasted

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp good Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
Cook the quinoa according to directions and set aside. Grill the corn, set aside to cool and then once cooled, cut the kernels off of the cob. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the corn, tomatoes, cucumber, green onion and quinoa.

To make dressing, mix all ingredients in blender until smooth. Stir into the salad and top with toasted pine nuts.

Simply Grilled Jumbo Prawns
Serves about 3

6 large prawns, shells on
olive oil
freshly ground pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste

Using kitchen shears, cut a slit along the top part of each shell and clean the prawn by quickly running under cold water. In a bowl toss with a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Put directly on a high heat grill and cook for about 3-5 minutes, turning once until it turns pink and is just cooked through.

Arrange the prawns on top of a bed of the sweet corn quinoa. Serve and enjoy.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ani's Sesame Noodles

I had the opportunity to meet Ani Phyo when she was in town on her book tour. She came out with her latest cookbook Ani's Raw Food Essentials and gave a demo at Organic Avenue a couple of weeks ago. She completely inspired me so I decided to try another one of her recipes last week. These noodles were so good that I had it for dinner three nights in a row! I had to share these images with you all...

Kelp noodles are the greatest thing that I have learned about. I am always craving pasta, though without the bloating feeling that comes along with them. These are the perfect solution! Kelp noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of an easy-to-eat raw noodle. They are fat-free, gluten-free and very low in carbohydrates and calories. They are a healthy alternative to pasta and rice noodles and no cooking is required! Just rinse and add noodles to any dish.

This recipe uses walnut and cashew butter to create an incredibly smooth texture for the sauce. It is flavored with toasted sesame oil, Braggs Liquid Aminos, vinegar, garlic and ginger and topped with crunchy veggies and Tamari almonds. You can buy her book here to get this recipe and more raw delights!

Let me know if you have any questions or if you give this recipe a try! Leave your comments.

Heirloom Tomato Avocado and Basil Salad

Walking through our local farmers market last Saturday in the West Village I came across an incredibly colorful table of heirloom tomatoes that I absolutely could not resist. Their wonderful colors and odd shapes immediately draws me. This salad is simple (I thought almost not worth blogging about) but after tasting, I had to share! You can use any juicy, ripe tomatoes but during this high season, if you can get your hands on the heirloom variety, I highly recommend. I added avocado because I had a perfectly ripe one at home, but the simpler the better so feel free to omit. Also, I still have some really sweet good-quality balsamic on hand (from our honeymoon in Italy) but if you don't have one I recommend creating a balsamic reduction by heating on low heat for an hour or so, until it reduces by three-fourths and becomes a thick sweet syrup.

Heirloom Tomato Avocado and Basil Salad

Serves 2

1 large heirloom tomato, chopped into small pieces
1 avocado, pitted and diced
good sweet balsamic vinegar, for drizzle
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzle
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
fresh basil leaves, chopped

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and avocado chunks, drizzle some olive oil and a pinch of salt and gently combine. Plate half on each plate. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and grind fresh black pepper and top with fresh basil. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Four Summer Salads to Try Now

My favorite days of summer are spent with great friends, hitting the beach, getting in some outdoor activities and ending the day cooking up fabulous seasonal dishes. Between the Hamptons, Vail and my tiny New York City terrace, I have both created and have been introduced to some flavorful fares worth acknowledging that I know will remain in my recipe book for a very long time. This past weekend was spent again in the Hamptons: two finance guys, two fashion icons, two foodies and four small white dogs (typical NYC crowd if you will), we pulled together a smorgasbord of food that will for sure remain the meal to be topped for summers to come.
Served alongside perfectly grilled steaks, simply sauteed fillets of cod, a crisp rose wine and a smooth bottle of Borollo, here are the tastiest four summer salads to try now. All serve about 6 people as a side dish.

Sweet Corn and Tomato Salad

Inspired by the sweet summer corn and yellow cherry tomatoes from the farm stands in Amagansett, this salad was created by my friend Fran and has become a Hamptons house staple. It can be kept in the fridge up to a day or two so be sure to make plenty, as it's great for left-overs. Have it for lunch the next day with added greens or scooped with tortilla chips for an easy appetizer. Serve this salad at room temperature or right out of the fridge. Hold the parm to keep this dish vegan-friendly.

8 ears of corn, grilled, cooled and cut off cob
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of arugula, sliced into thin strips
splash of extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2-1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan Regiano, to taste

Combine corn, tomatoes and arugula in a large bowl. Toss with remaining ingredients to liking and serve.

Butter Lettuce with Avocado and Asparagus

This has become my go-to salad this season. I have been using tomatoes as a main ingredient so often that I needed to change things up a bit. The crisp butter lettuce and asparagus with the peppery hints from the radish, combined with the creaminess of the avocado and the crunch from the I really need to say more?

2 heads of butter lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
1 bunch of asparagus, blanched and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch fresh radishes, washed and sliced into thin discs
1/2 cup toasted almond slivers
2 ripe avocado, halved and pitted
extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1-2 lemons
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine lettuce, asparagus, radishes in a large bowl and set aside. For the dressing, mash the avocado into a small bowl and whisk in the olive oil and lemon juice until it forms a creamy consistency (it's ok for some of the avocado to remain lumpy). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the dressing with the salad and add in the toasted almond slivers last. Serve immediately.

Farm Stand Heirloom Tomatoes with Basil

A summer classic reinvented this weekend by my friend Karene. A foodie and a fashion-ista herself, I am always inspired by the thought that goes into each dish that she brings to the table. Stay tuned for an incredible summer dessert that she and I collaborated on together. You would never believe how healthy this flavorful dish is!

2 pints heirloom tomatoes, quartered or cut into bite sized pieces
handful of fresh basil, sliced
splash of balsamic vinegar
splash of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve immediately.

Sun-dried Tomato and Radicchio Orzo

This dish originates from our trip to Vail earlier this summer. Friends, Melanie and Bill, hosted and we all collaborated on a 4th of July feast that literally kept us feasting all weekend long. This is her recipe, also brought to the Hamptons table for another round. It's a true hit and only gets better the longer the flavors marinate together. So make ahead and keep tons as left-overs. You'll definitely find yourself sneaking your fork in the fridge for another bite.
1.5 cup orzo
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup radicchio, sliced

Cook orzo according to package directions, drain and set aside in a large bowl to cool. Combine remaining ingredients and place in fridge for a few hours to marinate. This can be made up to a day in advance. Again, the longer the ingredients sit, the tastier it gets.

Summer cooking is all about finding the freshest seasonal ingredients to work with. Feel free to visit your own local farm stands and play around with ingredients that are available to you. I'd love to hear what you might come up with!