Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 17: Toasted Orzo with Peas

While I was out on the porch cooking dinner I made an amazing discovery. At 6:02 pm there was still just a trace of light in the sky! I love the first time I notice the days just beginning to lengthen because it helps me look forward to the warm sunny days that I know are coming. I start thinking about what veggies to plant in the garden. In exactly 2 months from today the peas, beets, lettuce and broccoli can go in (at least where I live). Fresh veggies just make my mouth water, and I can't wait to cook them in the D.O. I am always looking for new side dishes. We get really tired of the same old, same old. I have never made this dish before, and I didn't even know what orzo was until I found this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe. It is just as easy as Rice-a-Roni, but has way better flavor. In case you don't know what orzo is, it is a pasta that looks like rice. It is so easy to cook with and had great texture.

Toasted Orzo with Peas
10" dutch oven
2 Tbs. butter
1 small onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. salt
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups orzo
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 Tbs. fresh minced parsley leaves
Melt the butter in a 10" dutch oven (I used about 18 coals on the bottom for this) and add the onion and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened. Stir in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant. Then stir in the orzo and cook, stirring often, until most of the grains are golden, it takes about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. At this point, I covered the D.O. and used 12 coals on the bottom and about 7 on top. It took about 12-15 minutes to cook the orzo. Be sure you watch the heat and stir every few minutes or it will burn as the liquid is absorbed. When the pasta is soft, take it off the heat and stir in the peas, Parmesan and parsley. Let it sit until the cheese is melted and the peas are heated through. Be sure the peas are thawed before you put them in.
The Finished Product

What I learned
I am getting so much better at this. I feel pretty daring for trying this dish, and it turned out to be really easy. Just be sure you don't use too much heat and check it often.
The Review
Oh my, oh my, oh my!! This was soooo good. I can't remember the last time I found a recipe that made me want to lick my plate clean, not to mention the pot it was cooked in. The flavor of the garlic and Parmesan are the real stars in this recipe, and the orzo just soaked it all up. I doubled the recipe and I am so glad I did. I will be having this for breakfast and lunch and a snack and... I will need to find a good place in the fridge to hide it so no one else can find it. When spring comes I will make this again but with fresh asparagus from the garden. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Could someone pass me a napkin? Grade A+++.


  1. It looks yummy. I like Cobbler in a Dutch Oven - made while camping, of course. Some great Dutch Ovens are at

  2. Thanks for the link, I'll have to check it out.


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