We are experiencing some pretty awesome weather here in Minnesota. This past week has been warm and sunny with a backdrop of the most gorgeous leaves ever. It’s breathtaking every where you go.
This weather created a spectacular day for a day at the farm. We were invited to a farm party on Saturday and it could not have been a nicer day. The purposes of the party was to celebrate the season and Meghan’s birthday. You might remember we went sugar bushing on this same farm. It is just gorgeous there and this year’s party was an absolute blast.
The birthday girl, Meghan, and Willa (sleeveless in October!)
Anything goes on the farm.
Where this is a party, there is food and this was no exception. I only wish I had taken more pictures! The corn was a huge hit.
A shucking injury! Just like a paper cut. She was a trooper and powered through.
Pickled eggs anyone? These were of the super stanky variety. I did not indulge in these. Hard boiled eggs are already tough for me to swallow, much less a spicy pickled version.
We brought a few different delectables to the farm including black and blue bean burgers and our go to orzo veggie salad. We also made what may now be one of my favorite desserts which I will need to dedicate an entire post to. It will mean I have to make them again and take photos, but I’ll suffer through. That’s how much I care about you getting this recipe. I’ll just say it involves pumpkin and cream cheese and it’s really fun to say and eat. You’ll love it. I promise.
Back to the orzo salad. This is one of our favorite salads to take to potlucks. Brette could eat this every week and be one happy man. It is very versatile and there are lot of ways to make it. It’s perfect for a potluck because it can sit out for quite some time without the risk of making someone ill.
The Perfect Potluck Orzo Veggie Salad
Note: There are lots of room for substitutions with this one. For the veggies, you can mix and match what types you use and how many. The key is to get an good balance of veggies to orzo. We’ve used zucchini, peppers, eggplant, red onion and tomatoes with success. If you don’t want to grill your veggies, you could also roast or sauté them. If you want to up the protein in the dish, add a can of chickpeas – it’s delish.
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
3-4 bell peppers in a variety of colors, quartered
2 small eggplant, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
1 red onion, sliced into rounds (this is optional, but I like it better with it)
salt and pepper
1/2 – 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
red wine vinaigrette, to taste (recipe follows)
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
For veggies, preheat grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Brush veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for about 3-5 minutes on each side until grill marks appear and some char is present (the onion might take a bit longer). Remove from grill, cut into bite size pieces and add to pasta.
Toss with red wine vinaigrette (start with half of the recipe and add from there) and check for seasonings; adjust as necessary. Add the feta and toss to combine.
Red Wine Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Shake in a container with a tightly fitted lid. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a week. You’ll need to shake it before each use.
Here are a few more shots of our time at the farm.
This seems to be an appropriate place to end. I hope those of you in MN are enjoying this Indian Summer while you can. I shudder to think about what’s coming….
A big Happy Birthday to my “sister” Meghan!