Not everyone is as infatuated with artichokes as I am. I could eat them any possible way imaginable, whether they are fresh, marinated or simply from a can. They are a great addition to, well…as I see it…anything. In this case, their pure sweet and nutty flavor can be enjoyed in this simple orzo dish that is packed with fresh and zesty flavors.
I’m on a little bit of an orzo kick at the moment, and since it indeed resembles rice, it almost fools me into thinking that this is not just another pasta dish. Truth is, it’s no better or less than pasta, but let’s say if you can get your hands on a whole-wheat version, you can consider it a slight upgrade.
If you are keen on something other than “traditional” pasta, then then try using the gluten-free and frequently referred to superfood, quinoa in place of orzo for this dish.
I love the subtle flavors smoked trout gives to this dish. With its fine, delicate and mild flesh, it’s a popular choice in Germany where you can buy it fresh from the fishmonger or farmers market – and of course packaged at the supermarket. It’s as delicious as smoked salmon and just as versatile. Endlessly actually so. Tossed together with orzo, artichokes and fennel in a lemon caper dressing, its seriously the best thing I’ve gotten to eat this week, so much flavor and delicious textures! Plus this dish is a breeze to put together. Simple and delicious!
Smoked Trout and Orzo Salad
For the salad:
1 cup orzo (170 g)
100 g smoked trout, coarsely chopped
4 artichoke hearts, (preferably fresh from a delicatessen, alternatively, marinated from a glass), drained, quartered, and coarsely chopped (150 g)
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced with a mandoline
2 handfuls baby arugula leaves
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon rind, finely grated
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped mint
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1. Fill a large pot with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the orzo. Cook according to packet instructions, until al dente, drain and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.
3. In a large bowl, mix together the orzo, smoked trout, artichoke hearts, and fennel with the dressing and toss until well combined. Add the arugula leaves and toss again to coat.
4. Divide the salad between plates and enjoy!