Sunday, October 16, 2011

Orzo with Parmesan and Basil - Brendan

I had never tried orzo until about 2 years ago. Actually, I had never even heard of it. But then one day I was begging Caity to feed me something and she mentioned orzo. I've never been one to turn down food and although I had never eaten orzo, I'll always try something at least once. 

So she made it for me, and the great thing about it is it only takes about twenty minutes from start to finish. Also, after watching her cook it only once I was able to make it on my own. It's quick, easy to make, and serves as a great side dish with any kind of meat. Our favorite way to eat it is with pork chops. This recipe comes from the "Best of the Best" Canadian cookbook. 

After that first taste I was literally obsessed with this orzo. Actually, obsessed doesn't really explain it. The word "addicted" paints a more realistic picture. I ate it almost every day for 2 or 3 months. I took a break after that but I still enjoy it once or twice monthly. 

In case you don't know what orzo is, it's a rice-shaped pasta. You can find it in the pasta section of just about any grocery store. Caity and I like the Barilla brand. So go to the store, buy some, and see how great it is!   

Serves 6 as a side dish

what you'll need:

3 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups orzo (we like the Barilla brand)
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
6 Tbsp. fresh basil sliced Chiffonade style (see our Caprese recipe for picture instructions)
Salt and pepper to taste

First, melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. 

Add the orzo and sauté for about 2 minutes, until slightly brown. 

Add broth and bring to a simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. 

Right before serving, mix in parmesan and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

For a creamier variation of this recipe, try stirring in 2 Tbsp of plain yogurt thinned with a little milk. 

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