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Smoked Salmon and Spinach with Orzo

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Syrie Wongkaew is the guide to Australian & New Zealand Food for About.com, as well as a freelance graphic designer and food photographer/stylist.

But we found Syrie through her beautiful food-focused blog, Taste Buddies.

Syrie’s been cooking up a storm since she was a child. Having traveled extensively and lived in Australia, Thailand and Canada, she’s developed a taste for international cuisine, and is currently training to be a chef in Sydney..

As she says, Syrie strives to eat “sustainably and ethically—free-range, locally and organically; wild seafood—not farmed, nor trawled.”

Smoked Salmon and Spinach with Risone (Orzo)

Orzo—also known as risone—is a rice-shaped pasta, frequently used in soups and baked casseroles. Despite its rice shape, orzo is made not of rice but of hard wheat semolina.

Serves 2

Orzo (risone) pasta for 2

1 teaspoon sea salt for pasta water
2 cups of smoked salmon chunks OR one 6 oz portion of non-smoked salmon
4 cups of baby spinach, washed
2 Tablespoons of roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
2 Tablespoons of roughly chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup of crumbled cow's milk feta
Juice from 1/4 lemon
Sea salt and organic coarse ground black pepper

Method if you're using smoked salmon:

  • Place the baby spinach in a saucepan with about 1/2 cup of water. Cover and gently heat over a medium-high heat. Poach spinach for about 2 minutes or until it just wilts. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside.

  • Cook pasta according to packet instructions in a pot of boiling, salted water.

  • Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and then drain pasta.

  • Place pasta along with smoked salmon, wilted spinach and feta cheese in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Next, add the fresh herbs and season pasta with a little salt and pepper.

  • Serve immediately.


Method if you're using fresh salmon:
  • Heat 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Once the oil starts to swirl, place the salmon skin-side down and fry for 2 minutes. Turn the salmon over and fry the other side for about 2 minutes. Turn the salmon again and fry until the salmon is cooked through—about another 2‒4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Once the salmon is cooled, shred it into large chunks with a fork.

  • Place the baby spinach in a saucepan with about 1/2 cup of water. Cover and gently heat over a medium-high heat. Poach spinach for about 2 minutes or until it just wilts. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside.

  • Cook pasta according to packet instructions in a pot of boiling, salted water.

  • Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water and then drain pasta.

  • Place pasta along with salmon, wilted spinach and feta cheese in a large mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Next, add the fresh herbs and season pasta with a little salt and pepper.

  • Serve immediately.

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