Everyone who puts dinner on the table with regularity has a default pasta or grain or starch that they turn to over and over. I have a few of go-tos when it comes to plain unadorned carb sides. Rice (multiple kinds), roasted potatoes, and orzo. All are completely easy, all are kind of light (compared to, I guess, mashed potatoes or a big pile of unadulturated farro), and all seem to go with just about everything under the sun.
Most of the time I leave these sides pretty plain jane, ready to soak up the sauce of whatever they are paired with. But something I like to give them a bump – a sauce with the potatoes, or a few simple and bright ingredients added to the rice or orzo.
This is how I recently turned a pile of warm orzo into a fragrant, citrusy, vibrant side, that was also super pretty. I served it up with a Lemon-Garlic Semi-Boneless Leg of Lamb and it I guess you can see how that turned out (hopefully you will also want to taste how that turned out).
This Orange and Herb Orzo is delicious warm, and also at room temperature. If you want to make it up to two days ahead, just bring it to room temp before serving. Or make the orzo up to 4 days before serving, toss it with the olive oil, and tuck in the fridge. Then and either mix it with the rest of the ingredients before serving, and serve cool, or you can warm up the orzo in the microwave before adding in the scallions, parsley, orange zest and salt and pepper.
I am also thinking that this orzo would add a whole level slew of leftover flavors to this Tomato, Orzo and Dill Soup.
Try this Red Onion Mint Orzo for another colorful and flexible tiny pasta side.
Orange and Herb Orzo
- ½ pound orzo
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped scallions white and green parts
- 2 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain.
- Transfer the orzo to a serving bowl and toss with the scallions, parsley, orange zest and salt and pepper. Serve warm or room temperature.
Made this recipe? Post a photo of your delicious creation on Instagram with our hashtag #dinnersolved