This beautiful illustration was done by my girlfriend Phalin.
This is another recipe that I came up with on a whim. Phalin came home from her work at the Lux Center, and there were very few things in the cupboards, so off we went to the grocery store.
I wanted to just make something simple, and I remembered a super basic orzo style risotto recipe from Bittman’s How to Cook Everything that I used to make all the time.
I dropped the risotto idea this time, and instead made a quick one-pot recipe with really great flavor and texture. This recipe is awesome because it really takes only one pot, and whatever you’ve got on hand. And it only takes about 15 minutes for the whole dish!
One Pot Orzo
Prep time 5 min • Cook time 10 min
This recipe makes enough for 2 people
1 cup orzo
2 cups water
2 tbsp butter
veggies – feel free to vary them with what you have on hand
~6 baby bella/criminis, sliced, with stalks
handful of cilantro
1/4 tsp chile flakes
2 roma tomatoes, sliced in rounds
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
grated parmesan, or asiago, or sharp cheddar
Cut, slice, and chop the ingredients.
Put a medium pot with a lid on the stove at medium-high heat.
Add the butter to the pot. If it is unsalted, add a dash of salt.
Cook until the foam subsides and the butter begins to brown slightly. Add garlic.
Add the carrot and a good amount of ground pepper shortly afterwards, then the tomatoes, mushrooms, cilantro, and chile flakes.
Fry these ingredients until they soften slightly, then add the orzo, strirring briskly. Directly after that, add a good amount of salt (1/2 tsp), then the water. Cover and reduce to lowest heat.
A good trick for a slow simmer is, if you have a gas stove, to take the trivets that go above the gas and stack them atop one another. If the orzo is at a fast simmer, I recommend doing this.
Garnish with cilantro, and serve with plenty of parmesan.