Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Vegetable Orzo for the Temporarily Unmotivated...

I had grand plans to begin painting my checkered floor tonight, but the truth of the matter is that I'm on my death-bed with a cold (boo) and after much whining, it was agreed that a night of comfort food and movie watching was well overdue.

John has agreed to make this delicious substance we are calling Vegetable Orzo, but it really fits in somewhere between soup and risotto. Since I happen to love both of those things, this is one of my favorite new dishes. *

2 T. Olive Oil
1- Spanish Onion, diced
3- Cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
1- Box of Petite White Mushrooms, sliced
2- Medium-Sized Carrots, diced**
1-1/2 c. Orzo Pasta
1 c. Dry White Wine
3 c. Chicken Broth
3/4 c. Frozen Petite Green Peas (thawed)

Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

To Do:
Sauté the onions in olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, about 5-7 minutes, and then throw in the garlic and chopped carrots. While the carrots are cooking, slice up the mushrooms , and then throw those in too. Sauté until the mushrooms and carrots are soft (about 10 minutes), and then turn up the heat to Medium-High. Stir frequently to make sure nothing gets stuck while the pan heats up. Once it has warmed up, add the orzo. Stir this around so it mixes nicely with the mushrooms, carrots, onions, and garlic, and let it take in the heat for a couple of minutes. Then add 1 c. of dry white wine. Stirring the orzo to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan, let everything cook for about 3 minutes until some of the wine has been absorbed into the orzo.

Then add 3 c. of chicken stock, stir, and bring everything to a boil. At this point, set your kitchen timer for 2 minutes less than whatever time the box of orzo instructs you to do. When your timer chimes, taste your orzo. It should be al dente (ever so slightly crunchy) and most of the broth should be absorbed. Throw in your thawed baby green peas, salt and pepper to taste, stir, and then turn off the heat and cover. Let sit for two minutes, covered, with no heat.

Once the two minutes have passed,  you can serve this delightful, mysterious substance. If you like, you can also grate fresh parmesan cheese over each bowl as you serve it. If all of the broth has not been absorbed, serve with a slotted spoon if you prefer a less soup-y consistency, but either way is yummy, it just depends on your preference.

*A disclaimer: This is incredibly tasty comfort food, but I'm not sure I'd serve it at a dinner party. It's a little "casual" shall we say. But it really hits the spot if you're looking for something with a lot of veggies that will make you feel full and satisfied.

**Another note: You could absolutely add additional vegetables to this dish. The first time John made it, we also added canned tomatoes, but I think you could add zucchini, green beans, or asparagus... Any of those would also be great.


  1. How many servings does this make? I'm making it tonight.

  2. Dear Zinnia Girl:
    I would estimate four servings, if served as an ample side dish.
    Let me know how it goes!


  3. I made this last night & it was terrific! I used whole-wheat orzo, to make it a bit more filling, & threw in some leftover cooked chicken for my meat-and-potatoes husband. We both loved it!

  4. Thanks for the feedback ZinniaGirl! Your additions sound delicious!

  5. this sounds delicious, and a breeze to make! should be no problem at all for john to bring in some left overs.....

  6. tasty food I like this food I say thanks for the nice idea and instruction I love more than.

  7. I really like this food. I will taste it then i will try to my home kitchen.
    thanks for the nice post.