Summer Garden Orzo

Summer Garden Orzo: Orzo is flavored with onion and garlic, simmered in chicken broth until tender and combined with fresh zucchini and tomatoes for an easy side dish.

This simple orzo side dish makes great use of two summer garden favorites - tomatoes and zucchini. Lightly toasting the orzo in olive oil, then simmering it in chicken broth brings out a nutty quality in the pasta. The dish is just as delicious when made ahead and served at room temperature, making it a nice choice for entertaining.

Summer Garden Orzo

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 3 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and diced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the zucchini and season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining olive oil to the pan along with the dried orzo. Cook until the orzo is lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Should the liquid cook off before the orzo is tender, add some water in 2 tablespoon increments.

Return the zucchini mixture to the pan and combine well and heat through, 1 minute. Mix in the tomato and parsley, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a serving dish. May be served warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

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