Sunday, March 11, 2012

Orzo Pilaf

Simon picked out this orzo dish as part of our dinner tonight.  Orzo, which is basically pasta shaped like rice, is neither something I grew up with nor something I've eaten very much of.  This is the first time we've made orzo in the apartment but it went really well.  So, even if you've never heard of orzo before, read on! 

Orzo Pilaf with Roasted Red Peppers and Peas
Orzo Pilaf
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces orzo
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1.5 cups frozen peas
  • 1 - 7.5 ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (or roast your own red peppers)
  • 1/2 or 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
First, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the orzo and cook, stirring a couple times, for two minutes.  Then add the remaining ingredients, stir, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until orzo is tender (not mushy) and has absorbed the liquid.  Serve hot.

Yields about 6 servings.

This is a mild dish.  I generally prefer more powerful flavors, but this was a nice change of pace.  The roasted red peppers and peas work well together; at the same time, I would've enjoyed some more (fresh) vegetables.  Asparagus would be a great addition once asparagus season comes around.  The texture of the pilaf is smooth, verging on creamy.      
This dish requires a small number of ingredients.  We were able to find everything easily at the grocery store, especially since there aren't any fresh vegetables involved.
 Ease of Preparation:   
The pilaf was really quick and easy to make.  I would say it took us 25 minutes at most to put together and cook.      
Non-vegan friendliness:   
As a side dish, this dish delivers what it promises.  I wouldn't serve this as a main dish since it's not especially filling and it lacks protein, but it's tasty and the flavors involved are quite unobjectionable. 

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