Looking For a Great Side Dish? Try This Delicious Carrot Orzo
Have you ever heard of a pasta called orzo? Orzo is the Italian word for barley but in the US, it is commonly know as an enriched durum semolina pasta. It’s a rice shaped, great in pasta salads, soups and one of my favorite dishes, seafood orzo salad.
How to Cook Orzo
The easiest way to cook orzo is with lots of water. For example, to cook one cup of orzo, I would bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and gradually pour in the orzo and stir immediately.
Bring the water back to a boil and cook for 8 – 10 minutes. Drain immediately and season to taste. 1 cup of uncooked orzo yields about 2 ½ cups of cook orzo.
However in this recipe, the orzo is going to act more like an aborio rice for making risotto. We are going to add just enough liquid so it all gets absorbed into the orzo pasta. I’m not sure why the recipe doesn’t just use all chicken stock and no water for more flavor. I’ll experiment with this and see if it makes a difference.
Carrot Orzo – a Great Side Dish
1½ cups peeled carrots - I like using the prepared mini carrots that are already peeled because we always have them around since our kids love to snack on them. You can use peeled regular carrots too. The recipe calls for 6 ounces and I'm guessing that's about 2 or 3 large carrots.
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup orzo pasta
1½ cups water
1¼ cups chicken stock
1 large garlic clove, minced
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese - they don't mention freshly grated, but try to stay away from any of those tubes of grated Parmesan, it just isn't that good.
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped - Green onions are just young onions that have been pulled from the ground before the bulb has formed and the tops are still green. Think of scallions.
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary.
How To Prepare At Home
A food processor is the easiest way to process the carrots but you could cut everything up by hand. It will definitely add to the prep time. Process the carrots using the on/off or pulse button on your processor until the carrots are finely cut up.
Heat your saucepan over medium heat, add butter. When the butter is melted, add the orzo and carrots and cook (saute) until the orzo is golden. This should take about 5 minutes.
Add the water, chicken stock and minced garlic. Let this all cook uncovered until all the water and chicken stock are absorbed into the orzo being sure to stir frequently. This should take about 10 minutes.
Now it's time to add the Parmesan cheese, green onions and rosemary. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt & pepper.
Easy and different!
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