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Ten Delicious Thanksgiving Sides!
See pictures and links below. Click on the name of the dish, then the picture and the recipe link will appear.

Orzo Vegetable Salad

I made this Orzo Vegetable Salad as part of a kiddish, a small meal, after our Shabbat (Sabbath services) at my synagogue. One of the members asked me for the recipe and then said, “No put it in your blog—this week!” I bumped my planned post and obliged! So many people complimented me on this simple but very tasty and pretty recipe. I made this pasta salad for 80 people but have cut the recipe down for 8. If you are not familiar with orzo, it looks strikingly like rice but tastes like pasta. It’s great in soups, stews and grain salads.

Cook it al dente—no soggy pasta here! This recipe would make a great side on Thanksgiving. Orzo Vegetable Salad should hold up in the refrigerator for several days, perfect for large holiday dinners. Thinking ahead to Christmas, try using green and red bell peppers, green onion tops, red onions, red radishes and red cherry tomatoes—a bright colorful festival dish!

Blue ribbon bring hostages home.jpeg

Bring the hostages home.

Foodie Lit

“Courage. Resolve. Empathy.”  These are the words of author Irene Drago describing to me what she considered the ingredients necessary for success in one’s personal and professional life. Main character Lavinia Wren certainly can be described with all three, as she creates a successful life for herself despite being orphaned, despite the barriers again her gaining a college degree and despite her unpopular mission for judicial and prison reform. She was a wife, a mother and had a career. Quite a “success” story for a woman born in the middle of the 19th century!

Orzo Vegetable Salad


Serves 8 as a side


Juice from 1 lemon 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 clove garlic, minced

6 large leaves fresh basil, finely sliced or cut with a scissors

1/2 cup olive oil


Orzo Salad

1 pound box of orzo

2 mixed color bell peppers: yellow, orange, red and/or green, small chopped 

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 tops of green onions, chopped

1 cup multicolored cherry tomatoes, uncut

1 cup chickpeas, darned and rinsed

1/2 cup pitted black olives, chopped 

  1. Cook orzo according to package directions, choosing al dente time. Rinse and drain pasta. 

  2. Add bell peppers, red onion, tops of green onions, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and black olives.

  3. Pour vinaigrette on top of orzo mixture and gently toss. Taste and add salt and pepper. 

  4. Evenly distribute the basil on top. Serve.  Refrigerate if not serving immediately. Orzo Salad holds up well.  

Tip: Make the vinaigrette and prep vegetables the day before. On the serving day, make the orzo, add the veggies and vinaigrette and toss. 

Expandthetable suggestions

Allium Free: Omit onions and add sliced radishes

Gluten free: Use quinoa in place of orzo

Other veggies: Cucumber or zucchini small chopped, grilled baby eggplant, cooled and chopped.

Thanksgiving Sides (vegetarian or vegan)

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