Chorizo, capsicum & saffron orzo salad with capsicum aioli

by Dixie Elliott | Cuisine issue #154
Serves: 4Fast and flavourful ideas for weeknight meals from Dixie Elliott

2 red capsicums
2 cups orzo
1⁄2 teaspoon saffron threads
1 cup bought aioli
1⁄4 teaspoon chilli flakes (or to taste)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 large chorizo, cut into 1cm slices
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves or baby rocket leaves
lemon wedges to serve

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the capsicums on a baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until blackened all over. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle then peel and deseed. Thinly slice the capsicums then set aside.

Cook the orzo in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return to the saucepan. Cover to keep warm.

Put the saffron in a small bowl. Cover with 2 tablespoons of boiling water then set aside for 5 minutes. Add the saffron and soaking liquid to the orzo, along with three-quarters of the sliced capsicum.

Put the remaining capsicum in a small food processor with the aioli and chilli flakes. Process until well combined and smooth then taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. This is the capsicum aioli. Reserve.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute then add the onion and garlic to the orzo.

Fry the chorizo for 4 minutes each side or until golden then add to the orzo, along with the spinach or rocket. Toss to combine.

Divide the salad among serving bowls then drizzle with a little capsicum aioli. Serve with lemon wedges and the remaining aioli.

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