Somewhere Over the Rainbow Orzo

Every recipe tells a story or carries a memory, as this one does for the Practical Cook. Volunteered by my friend Complicated Vegetarian to assist in preparing lunch for the staff of our preschool, this is the dish that emerged. It’s light, flavorful, feeds a crowd, and pairs nicely with any number of other items or as one of a series of salads. Thank you to all of the teachers out there. You are making a difference. I can’t make this dish for all of you, but I hope someone will.

Cue the music, maestro. (Yeah, I know I switched songs here, but I greatly prefer this one, let’s call it “artistic license.”)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow Orzo Recipe

I made this the night before to give the flavors a chance to meld. I find that if you do, you need to add a little more seasoning the next day to “brighten” the taste.

8 ounces orzo
olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 head of broccoli, chopped
4-6 ozs Swiss chard, cut into ribbons (chiffonade), could use baby spinach instead
1 clove garlic, minced fine or pressed
1/2-3/4 tsp dried thyme
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup pickled beets, rinsed and diced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Prepare the orzo according to the directions on the box. When the timer goes off, drain the orzo in a colander, rinse it in cold water to stop it from cooking more, and put in a bowl. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and place in fridge to cool.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon (or less, if you prefer)  olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add carrot, broccoli, and chard, saute for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste and saute for another minute. Take off the heat. Veggies should still be fairly bright green, but no longer super-crunchy.

3. Squeeze lemon juice over sauteed veggies. Carefully fold in diced beets.

4. Add vegetable mixture to orzo. Season with additional salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and thyme to personal preference.

Have you tried orzo? What do you think? Leave a comment or a Tweet.

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Filed under Recipes

3 responses to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow Orzo

  1. Have a similar recipe that I love — need to post to my blog. We call it Zarzorzo because it came from our friends the Zarzours. What I like about these kinds of recipes is that you can use them as-is or you can add chicken or feta or other things to jazz them up. And they make great leftovers.

    • The Practical Cook

      I love the name, Zarzorzo! Totally agree with you on the flexible part. So far today, I’ve had requests to get rid of both the beets and the broccoli. (For the record, I recommend trying green peas, bell peppers in any color, and chickpeas as additions and swaps.) Feta is a great add-in as well. Love the flavor boost it brings.

      Can’t wait to see your version!

  2. Pingback: One Ingredient, Three Ways: Salad Edition | The Practical Cook

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