This Red Onion Mint Orzo is one of those super simple sides that is bright and flavorful and goes with most everything. It’s great served alongside a roasted leg of lamb, like Slow Cooked Mediterranean Leg of Lamb with Tzatziki or Herbed Boneless Leg of Lamb with Mustard Crust.
Or perfect next to Greek Roasted Chicken Breasts.
You can switch up the herbs like crazy. Make it with basil and serve it with Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lime, Roasted Garlic and Fresh Herb Marinade. Try oregano and match it up with Pan Seared Pork Chops with Madeira and Leek Cream Sauce. Tarragon, thyme, cilantro…just start with a slightly smaller amount of the chopped herb and add more as you like. Lime can also be used in place of the lemon.
This little side also illustrated one of the great truisms of cooking – when in doubt, add some red onion. A little onion is great in almost every savory dish (or shallot or leek or…..), but a red onion adds color as well as flavor. A little burst of colorful spicy freshness. But sure, regular onion is just fine, and scallions are also a nice burst of green color.
This can be made up to a day ahead of time, and served at room temperature. If you want to serve it warm, you can make the orzo ahead, then warm it in the microwave and add the other ingredients.
A great potluck offering, too, and because it’s so portable, this is a dish to remember next time you pack a picnic. You could also add cubes of cooked chicken or pork, or shrimp. Or hunks of flaked cooked salmon would make this into a terrific salad.
Red Onion Mint Orzo
- 1 pound orzo
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely diced red onion
- Juice and finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook the orzo according to package directions and drain.
- Place the orzo in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, onion, lemon juice and zest, mint, and salt and pepper. Toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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