Saturday, December 8, 2007

Orzo Pilaf

This pilaf was made with a bunch of stuff that I wanted to use up — orzo from the cupboard, tomato paste in the fridge and vegetables in the freezer. If you've never had orzo, it's a nice change from rice. It's technically a pasta but its size is a little larger than a grain of rice and it has a nice pasta "bite" to it. I would have added in some chickpeas as well but I didn't have any.

I actually paid attention to how much I put in, so here's my recipe:

Orzo Pilaf

1/4 cup of vegan margarine or olive oil*
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
2 cups uncooked orzo (16 oz bag)
4-5 cups of vegetable stock (or 4-5 cups water plus some bouillon cubes/powder)
3 tbsp of tomato paste
1 bag of frozen vegetables or whatever you have on hand
salt, pepper, parsley to taste
  1. Heat the margarine or olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high and add the garlic and saute for a minute or two (make sure it doesn't brown or burn).

  2. Add in the uncooked orzo and let it soak up the margarine/oil as you stir it around.

  3. Add in the vegetable stock, tomato paste, seasonings and vegetables. Stir a few times until the mixture comes to a boil.

  4. Cover and let simmer for about 15 mins or so until the orzo is cooked. Check every 5 mins and stir to make sure things aren't sticking to the bottom. If the liquid is completely absorbed but the orzo isn't done yet, add a little more liquid. Taste, re-season and serve.

If you have a little bit of extra liquid in the mixture when the orzo is done, which is okay. You can always remove from the heat and let the pasta continue to absorb the liquid for a few more mins if you want. I didn't bother. Everyone's pots react a little differently with making rice or orzo so some people may need to adjust for more liquid and some for less. A lot of steam comes out of my pots so I tend to need to use more liquid.

* Okay, I admit I didn't use 1/4 cup of margarine, I used a 1/2 cup... but for the sake of others out there, 1/4 cup should be fine!


VeggieGirl said...

oooh, I just LOVE "clean-out-the-cupboard" dishes - there's so many possibilities!! that orzo-pilaf looks sensational!!

by the way, I'm sorry that I missed your previous post about Shadow - that's incredible how long you've had him!! I've had my dog for the entire 10 years of her life so far - here's to many MORE years with our beloved dogs!! :0)

Colleen said...

We made this tonight with peas, carrots and roasted red peppers. We topped it with vegan "chicken" strips and it was wonderful. This will probably end up in our regular meal rotation as it was easy, yummy, and cheap :)

Thanks for the recipe!

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