Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Carrot and Parmesan Orzo

Looking for a side dish but can't decide if you want pasta or rice? Why not try Orzo!  Orzo is a form of short-cut macaroni, shaped like a large grain of rice.  Best of both worlds?... I think so!

What I love about this dish is the fact that it is a veggie and a starch in one.  Sometimes, incorporating the two into one dish can be a sneaky great way to get children, or picky eaters to enjoy vegetables!  The soft creaminess of the orzo and parmesan combined with the light crunch of the carrots is a wonderful combination. 

Here is the recipe. 
Carrot and Parmesan Orzo     

1+1/4 cups carrots, chopped* (about 3 medium sized carrots)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup orzo pasta
2+3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth (you can use water if you like but it will minimize the flavor)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped scallions - click HERE for tips to get the most of your scallions
1 teaspoon dried tarragon 
salt, to taste*
pepper, to taste 
*if you are using water rather than broth you will need more salt

Peel and cut your carrots.  *I find that it is easiest to split the carrot and then chop them (see photo below).  Remember, you want the carrot pieces to all be the same size so that the cook evenly.  

Alternatively, you can place the carrots in a food processor, using on/off turns, finely chop the carrots. 
Mince the garlic and set aside. 

Next, melt butter in a medium or large saucepan over medium heat. 

Once melted, add the orzo and carrots; sautĂ© until orzo is golden, about 5 minutes.  This step helps bring out the flavor in both the orzo and carrots.
Add broth, tarragon and garlic; cook uncovered over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 15-20 minutes. 
Lastly, stir in the parmesan cheese and green onions and stir until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

If you like this recipe, you may also like: Chicken and Herbs with Carrot Risotto; and Creamy Orzo with Asparagus and Parmesan

Listening to: Tori Amos - A Sorta Fairytale (Live)
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