Orzo with Roasted Veggies
Before getting into the nuts and bolts of this recipe, I want to acknowledge that I didn’t exactly meet my goal with Nablopomo. The goal was to post every day for the entire month of November, and I batted at a 77% average.
I’m not proud.
I’m an A student so I can’t really explain why I missed 7 posts in the month. That’s a full week! Oy.
Oh well, it was fun posting more often than usual and I’m going to keep up with a more aggressive posting schedule if at all possible. It challenged me to share more than I might normally have and on the days I was totally tapped out of emotional vomit, I at least posted funny retro pictures. Win/win, right?
Since my doctor’s appointment, I’ve been looking for recipes that have low sodium or that can easily be modified to have low sodium.
This was one such recipe and it was also vegetarian. Double score!
Plus, I think I may be having a love affair with roasted vegetables. Oh. My. Gosh. They are so delicious. I think I might be able to live on veggies alone if they were always roasted or grilled.
You’ve got to like onions, mushrooms and zucchini to even consider making this recipe. If you hate all three, just run away now. This one is not for you.
Although, even after telling Andy that he was going to hate this dish, he tried it and kind of liked it. After cutting the veggies up into smaller pieces and generously dressing the bowl with feta cheese, he deemed it tasty. The crunchy walnuts “took it up a notch” too. Those are exact words by the way :)
Orzo Risotto with Roasted Vegetables
- 2 medium zucchinis, halved, then sliced about ½-inch thick
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- 8 oz button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1 T snipped fresh rosemary or oregano -or- 1 tsp. dried rosemary or oregano, crushed (I used rosemary)
- drizzle of olive oil
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 8 oz orzo (1-1/3 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ - ¾ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- crumbled feta cheese for garnish (omit for vegan)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a large baking (jelly roll) pan with foil for easy cleanup. Place zucchini and onions in pan, drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes. Add mushrooms and rosemary then toss to coat. Roast, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, stirring once or twice.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring veggie stock to boiling; reduce heat. Cover; keep stock steamy-warm. Coat a large skillet or saute pan with 1-2 T olive oil. Heat over medium heat. Add orzo and garlic. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until orzo is lightly browned, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Add ½ cup hot veggie stock to orzo mixture. Return to heat. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock to orzo mixture, ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently and cooking until liquid is absorbed before adding more. The pan won't be bone dry, but you should be able to run a spatula through the middle and see the bottom of the pan without any broth running to the center. Cook and stir until orzo is tender and creamy (about 20 minutes). You may run out of stock before the orzo is fully cooked. In this case add water by the half cup until orzo is fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, to toast the walnuts, just stick them in the toaster oven for a few minutes until they got fragrant and began to turn a little brownish. You could also throw them in the oven with the vegetables in a separate pan. Just don't forget about them because they burn easily!
- Add roasted vegetables and toasted walnuts to orzo mixture; stir gently to combine. Add feta cheese to mixture or sprinkle over each serving. Makes 4 servings.