Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives

Looking for a fabulous tasting side dish? Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives is a simple to prepare and absolutely delicious accompaniment for chicken, pork, seafood or beef!Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Looking for a fabulous tasting side dish? Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives is a simple to prepare and absolutely delicious accompaniment for chicken, pork, seafood or beef!
I recently bought a couple of new cookbooks with some birthday gift cards I received this summer.  I carefully read through the entire cookbook, earmarking many recipes that caught my attention.  This recipe for TOASTED orzo was the very first recipe I made from the cookbook.  It did NOT disappoint! Seriously… it’s GOOD!

I have used orzo in other recipes before, such as Orzo with Parmesan, One Pan Greek Chicken and Orzo, Italian Orzo and Spinach Soup, and Spinach and Orzo Salad, and have come to love this little tiny pasta!  This recipe caught my eye because the orzo is TOASTED before cooking it.

The prep for this side dish is very simple.  It all begins with toasting the orzo.  Place the orzo in a 10 inch “dry” skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high, and cook/toast, stirring orzo occasionally, until pasta turns golden brown. This will take about 5-7 minutes. Really keep an eye on the orzo, especially toward the end of the cooking time, because it can go from really light brown to burnt very quickly.

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once the orzo has been toasted, remove it from skillet and place in a bowl to cool.

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Melt butter in the skillet using medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion; stir occasionally and cook for about 5 minutes until onion is translucent and has softened considerably.  Add minced garlic; stir and cook an additional 30 seconds, being careful not to let the garlic burn.

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add the toasted orzo back into the skillet, along with the chicken broth, wine, and water.  Bring this mixture to a low simmer, then turn the heat down to medium-low heat. Continue to cook the mixture on medium-low, for about 15 minutes, giving it a good stir every 5 minutes.  When done, the liquid should have been absorbed, and the orzo should be nice and tender.

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped chives. Stir until combined. Cook for about one more minute, to ensure orzo is heated through. Season orzo with salt and pepper, to taste.

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

One you have seasoned with salt and pepper, to taste, the orzo is ready to serve!  Place in medium sized serving dish, or serve right out of skillet onto individual plates! If desired, you can garnish dish with additional chopped chives, and thin strips of lemon peel, but it is not necessary.

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it!  See how easy it was to make this delicious side dish!!!  I served the orzo with a simple mixed green salad and Honey Garlic Pork Chops.  My husband and I loved it, and the leftovers were just as good the next day.  All we had to do was fluff the orzo a bit, microwave it, and we had a great accompaniment to another meal!

Sure do hope you will try this delicious side dish.  Have a fantastic day, friends.

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: “America’s Test Kitchen-The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook”, copyright 2014 by the Editors of America’s Test Kitchen, page 320

Toasted Orzo with Lemon and Chives
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup orzo (dry)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 brown onion (small), finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1½ Tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and Black pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Place orzo in a 10 inch "dry" skillet. Turn heat to medium-high, and cook/toast, stirring orzo occasionally, until pasta turns golden brown. This takes about 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on the orzo, especially near end of the cooking time, because it can go from really light brown to burnt very quickly. Once orzo has been toasted, remove it from skillet; place in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in skillet using medium-high heat. Add chopped onion; stir occasionally and cook for about 5 minutes until onion is translucent and has softened considerably. Add minced garlic; stir and cook an additional 30 seconds, being careful not to let the garlic burn.
  3. Pour the toasted orzo back into the skillet, along with the chicken broth, wine, and water. Bring this mixture to a low simmering boil, then turn heat down to medium-low. Continue to cook the mixture on medium-low, for about 15 minutes, giving it a good stir every 5 minutes. When done, the liquid should have been absorbed, and the orzo should be nice and tender.
  4. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped chives to orzo. Stir until combined. Cook for about one more minute, to ensure orzo is heated through. Season orzo with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Garnish with additional chopped chives and thin lemon peel slices, if desired. Serve, and enjoy!

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