DISASTER STREAK: Cheese gougeres

Finger food is my absolute favourite, and an endless round of canapes would be my ideal meal. I love the variety of small, bite-sized pieces of food, which are always perfectly presented. Sadly, trying to recreate this ideal proved trickier than planned.
I PLANNED to have fluffy cheese and paprika gougeres for lunch, and although what I made fulfilled on flavour, my efforts were decidedly flat on the volume front. Sigh… back to the stove it is!

Orzo salad with courgettes, mint and feta

Another day, another lunch to make for work: this light pasta salad seem to have become a staple in my feeding rotations. A 20 minute battering on the Central Line in no easy feat for a salad lunch to survive at 8 in the morning, but this orzo-based wonder seems to be tough enough to make it to the office in one piece, plus the flavours remain perky enough to cheer me up as I escape into a park for an hour of sunshine.

I love the greek flavours in this: salty feta alongside mint make me dream of blue seas, even as I watch another red bus go by and a gaggle of tourists take yet another photograph of… well, no idea what.

At it’s simplest, this only needs a few ingredients but the salad will easily expand to accomodate any leftovers you have lurking in the fridge: peppers and chorizo would be no bad additions, prawns are rarely bad, or some even a handful of bitter kale shreds tossed in after they’ve been left over from dinner the night before. Broccoli not so much though, unless you fancy smelling like wet socks for the remainder of the afternoon, and leaving your colleagues wondering who on earth made such an odd-smelling lunch.

And so, to work!
Orzo salad with courgettes, mint and feta: ingredients
Per person, take:

– As much as orzo as you need to fill you up

– 1 courgette

– A quarter of a block of feta, cubed

– 1 spring onion, chopped

– 5/6 mint leaves, in shreds

– Teaspoon of olive oil

– White wine vinegar

Orzo salad with courgettes, mint and feta: the finished article

Chop the courgette into rounds, drizzle with oil and pop into the oven to roast until soft (I normally bung them in at whatever temperature that evening’s meal happens to be cooking at, but for the less slapdash, around 200C).

Boil up some water, and cook orzo until al dente, then drain, box up, and drizzle the oil and vinegar over to stop everything sticking.

Toss in the courgettes, feta and mint then pop the lid on, leave in the fridge until morning

Remember to grab said box before you rush out the front door