Orzo and Rice Pilaf
Here is a very good summer dish to help take care of those zucchini, which must now be about to take over your garden. It’s a simple orzo and rice pilaf, with lots of veggies and plenty of chicken broth (or vegetable broth), and with a finishing touch of zucchini at the end that just steams lightly and gives it a nice crunch.
I like the idea of using orzo with a rice pilaf, it make the whole dish a little more interesting and, I don’t know, adds a really nice pasta effect to the dish that smaller pasta just seems to miss. You can also make this a more or less vegetarian dish by using vegetable pasta. Personally, I use the chicken version because it adds a bit of (what I think is necessary) flavor, but if you had some really good vegetable sauce, by all means feel free to give it a try.
I don’t remember where this dish came from, but I suspect it’s possible to find it or something similar. In either case, this dish is a real winner.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2/3 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into small slices
- 2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 cup white rice
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 small to medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Heat oil and butter in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté orzo, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 1 minute.
- Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, salt, and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add rice and sauté, stirring, until coated with oil and butter.
- Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed, 13 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and quickly stir in zucchini. Zucchini will steam while you're putting the rest of dinner on the table.
- Stir in parsley and serve immediately.