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A&E >  Food

Orzo Salad may be Greek favorite

Reader Mary Graham sent an e-mail recently asking for help finding a recipe printed in the mid-1990s.

“You printed a recipe for a Greek-style summertime shrimp salad. I had cut it out and tried it – it was great – but I have since lost it,” Graham wrote in her message.

“It had shrimp, orzo, different veggies, etc. The dressing was lemon juice-olive oil vinaigrette. Do you still have this in your archive of recipes? I don’t remember it completely.”

Our electronic archive of recipes includes the stories published in The Spokesman-Review since 1995 and I quickly found a recipe for the type of salad Graham requested. The recipe was part of a story printed in 1998.

I hope this is the one Graham remembers.

Orzo Salad

From Bev Bennett and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate. The original story appeared in The Spokesman-Review on July 1, 1998.

1/2 pound shrimp, cooked and peeled, diced if large

1 tomato, cored and diced

1 green onion, trimmed and diced

1 tablespoon chopped dill

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped pitted Greek olives

2 cups cooked orzo

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

In a salad bowl, toss together the shrimp, tomato, green onion, dill, parsley, olives and orzo. Toss well to combine. Sprinkle with cheese.

Stir together lemon juice and salt in cup. Stir in pepper, mustard and oil. Gently stir into salad. Serve at room temperature.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition information per serving: 548 calories, 23 grams fat (38 percent fat calories), 48 grams carbohydrate, 36 grams protein, 246 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams dietary fiber, 1,330 milligrams sodium.

Patty Roll also sent a note asking for help to find a recipe for minestrone soup.

“I am looking for a recipe that was published in a Wednesday edition of the paper earlier this winter or fall. It is a minestrone soup recipe. My 12-year-old daughter loved it and after making it I have lost the recipe. … She is asking me to please make the soup for her again.”

I searched the archives and could not a find a minestrone soup recipe from this winter. However, sometimes readers will see a recipe in a grocery store advertisement or one of the newspaper inserts such as Relish or American Profile.

I searched the Relish and American Profile recipe Web sites and found this recipe. Perhaps it is the one Roll remembers.

Minestrone recipes vary widely. So, just in case, I’m tossing in a recipe from Jamie’s Minestrone has been rated by 894 people and it gets high marks for flavor.

Minestrone Soup

Recipe courtesy of the Young Chef’s Academy and American Profile,

1 sprig each: fresh basil, oregano and rosemary

6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup thinly sliced zucchini

½ cup thinly sliced carrot

½ cup chopped bell pepper

½ cup sliced mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 ½ cups dried pasta (your choice)

Parmesan cheese, grated

Chop or snip the fresh herbs. Combine stock and herbs in a large pot. With the help of an adult, bring stock to a boil.

Add vegetables, garlic, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Add pasta and cook an additional 8 to 10 minutes or until pasta is soft.

Remove bay leaves. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 8 servings

Jamie’s Minestrone

From Allrecipes, “I created this soup after becoming tired of the excess salt and lack of veggies in canned minestrone. I recalled a great bowl of minestrone that was overflowing with rich vegetables at the Sheepherder’s Inn in Sacramento, Calif. Great with a hearty bread, romaine salad and a nice merlot,” the recipe author wrote.

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 onions, chopped

2 cups chopped celery

5 carrots, sliced

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

4 cups tomato sauce

1/2 cup red wine (optional)

1 cup canned kidney beans, drained

1 (15-ounce) can green beans

2 cups baby spinach, rinsed

3 zucchinis, quartered and sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup seashell pasta

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, for topping

1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large stock pot, over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and sauté garlic for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth, water and tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring frequently. If desired add red wine at this point. Reduce heat to low and add kidney beans, green beans, spinach leaves, zucchini, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, the longer the better.

Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until tender. Drain water and set aside.

Once pasta is cooked and soup is heated through place 2 tablespoons cooked pasta into individual serving bowls. Ladle soup on top of pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Spray with olive oil and serve.

Looking for a recipe? Have a food question? Lorie Hutson would like to hear from you. Write to Cook’s Notebook, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210, or e-mail to cooksnotebook@ As many letters as possible will be answered in this column; sorry, no individual replies.
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