Grilled Antipasto and Orzo Salad

The mild anise flavor of fresh fennel and the creaminess of fontina cheese add a special touch to this Italian-style salad.

Ingredients

    Dressing
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) snipped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) lemon zest
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) snipped fresh oregano leaves
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) Garlic Oil or olive oil
    Salad
  • 8 oz (250 g) uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 small fennel bulb
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) Garlic Oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (14 oz or 398 mL) artichoke hearts in water, drained, cut in half and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces fontina cheese, cubed
  • Bell Pepper Boats (optional, see Chef's Corner)
  • 1 package (3 oz /90 g) prosciutto (optional)

Directions

  1. For dressing, combine parsley, lemon juice, oregano, lemon zest, salt, garlic and black pepper in Small Batter Bowl. Slowly add oil, whisking until well blended. Cover; refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. For salad, cook orzo according to package directions in (2-qt./1.8 L) Saucepan; drain and rinse under cold running water. Place orzo in Stainless (4-qt./4 L) Mixing Bowl. Slice fennel bulb crosswise into 1/4-in. (6 mm) slices; cut slices in half. Heat oil in Grill Pan over medium heat 5 minutes. Add fennel, bell pepper and artichokes. Cook without stirring 3 minutes. Stir and cook 2-3 minutes or until grill marks appear on vegetables. Remove vegetables to mixing bowl. Add olives, cheese and dressing; toss to coat. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  3. Meanwhile, prepare Bell Pepper Boats, if desired. For each serving, place pepper half on serving plate; top with salad. Serve with slices of prosciutto, if desired.

Yield:

  • 4  servings

Nutrients per serving:

Calories 360, Total Fat 15 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol 65 mg, Carbohydrate 28 g, Protein 31 g, Sodium 650 mg, Fiber 7 g

 

U.S. Diabetic exchanges per serving:

 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 medium-fat meat, 3 fat (3 carb)

Cook's Tips:

Fresh fennel has a broad, bulbous base with celery-like stems and bright green foliage. It has a mild anise flavor. Wash the fennel, trim the base and slice bulb crosswise into 1/4-in. (6 mm) slices.

Fontina cheese is a semi-firm cow's milk cheese from Italy. It is pale yellow with a mild, nutty flavor.

For Bell Pepper Boats, cut two red bell peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes. Heat Grill Pan over medium heat 5 minutes. Place bell peppers cut-side down on pan. Cook 2-4 minutes or until grill marks appear. Remove from pan; cool completely.
 Yield: 4 boats

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