Orzo: rice’s not-so-new but trendy twin brother.
Italy has given the world so much already. The Romans, a whole law system, the Colosseum, pizza, gelato! It’s not like we can ask for anything else, right? However, Italy still serves: and their contribution now looks like rice, but in the words of some of the experts, it’s even better! If you’re a fan of pasta, but you’re in search of a new shape and taste, keep reading and find out everything there is to know about orzo.
A little bit about orzo:
To be honest, orzo is not new, but it’s been increasingly popular over the past few years and that’s not only because it’s a fine replacement for rice, but because it shares many of its good qualities. So, what is orzo made of? Well, orzo is considered a pastina, made of semolina wheat. Because of this, it is the perfect option to make filling and tasty meals.
In many cases, you can make any pasta dish you usually make and, more often than not, orzo is great to eat on its own with a excellent salsa or in the form of a soup.
Moreover, orzo earned the “twin brother” nickname as it’s a great option for risottos and paellas, typical rice-based dishes. If you want to take your culinary skills to the next level, here are two orzo-based recipes for you to try out:
- 1 cup of orzo.
- 8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth.
- 6 egg yolks.
- 2 cups of shredded chicken.
- ¼ cup of lemon juice
- 1 tbsp of salt.
- ½ tbsp of pepper.
- Take a large saucepan and pour the previously made chicken or vegetable broth. For a truly homemade dish, prepare the broth a day in advance. If you don’t have the time, you can use one or two flavor cubes in eight cups of water.
- Bring the broth to a boil and add a cup of orzo. Cook the orzo for seven minutes or until it is tender enough. This will depend on your personal taste.
- In the meantime, take a bowl and separate six egg yolks. Beat them firmly.
- Take one cup of the hot broth and pour it in the eggs bowl gently and steadily at the same time you mix everything together. Make sure to do it slowly so that the eggs don’t curdle.
- Take the mix to the saucepan and pour it slowly. If you haven’t already, take the heat to medium and let everything cook.
- Stir from time to time and let everything cook until you get that creamy consistency. That should take between five and seven minutes.
- Pre-cook the shredded chicken in a separate pan. Remove it just two minutes before it is done.
- Now, pour the lemon juice in the orzo sauce pan and mix everything together. Do so gently.
- Add the chicken and let everything cook for a few minutes so that the chicken is soaked on the broth.
- Season everything to taste and serve.
Note: For a veggie version of this soup, you just have to omit the chicken steps. If you want, you can replace the chicken with some chickpeas. Make sure you let them sit in water overnight, before including them in your soup.
- 1 cup of rice.
- 4 zucchinis.
- Extra-virgin olive oil.
- 1 carrot.
- 1 onion.
- 1 cup of mushrooms.
- 1 clove of garlic.
- 1 red pepper.
- 1 tbsp of salt.
- 1 tbsp of oregano.
- ½ tbsp of pepper.
- 1 tbsp of paprika.
- Cheese to taste.
- Start by cooking a cup of orzo in two cups of boiled water for eight minutes. Do not overcook it as you’ll finish it cooking later in the oven.
- Wash the zucchinis and cut them in half. Take them to a previously heated oven for no longer than ten minutes in medium heat.
- In the meantime, take a medium size pan and pre-heat some extra virgin olive oil.
- Chop the onion, pepper and carrot and include the vegetables you want. Take the vegetables to the pan and salt them. Cook until the onion is translucent.
- Include the previously chopped mushrooms and cook until browned.
- When the orzo is ready, take it out and let it sit and cool down for a while.
- Mix the vegetables with the orzo and give everything a good stir.
- Stuff the zucchinis with the mix and top them with the cheese of your liking.
- Take them to the oven and, over a medium heat, let the cheese melt and finish cooking for five minutes. Serve!