Orzo with Vegetables is Like Pasta Primavera

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Now here is a quick summer recipe that can be perfect for the grill if you have a vegetable grilling basket, or you can just as easily make your vegetables on the stove. 

This cooks up pretty quickly since the orzo only takes about 8 – 10 minutes.  It can be a great side dish to any meal or it’s hearty enough to be the main course!

Ingredients List:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ small onion, chopped
  • 12 oz. orzo
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • Large zip lock baggie
  • Bell peppers cut into strips
  • Zucchini sliced and quartered
  • Summer squash sliced and quartered
  • Onion coarsely chopped
  • Grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

Instructions:

1. Heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the minced garlic and chopped onion and cook, stirring for a couple minutes to soften onion.  Add the orzo and cook, stirring for another 2 minutes or so.

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2. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The orzo should be tender but still firm.

3. Combine the bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, onion and grape tomatoes in a zip lock baggie.  Drizzle the Tablespoon of olive oil over the veggies and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Close bag and shake vigorously to coat the vegetables.

4. For a charcoal grill:  place veggies in a greased open grill pan.  Place grill pan on the grill rack directly over medium coals and grill the veggies for 12 – 15 minutes or until they are tender.

For a gas grill:  Preheat grill on high, then reduce heat to medium.  Place grill pan on grill rack over heat, cover and grill 12 – 15 minutes until veggies are tender.  Stir occasionally.

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On the stove:  Place veggies in a skillet and cook on medium high heat, stirring occasionally until veggies are tender and slightly browned.  You may have to add a touch of olive oil if the pan gets too dry.

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5. Stir the veggies into the orzo and heat all together.

This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.  We combine this with a side of steamed green beans with toasted walnuts sprinkled on top and of course a loaf of good Italian bread goes great with anything!!

I can even imagine letting this cool and for a second meal, maybe adding Italian Salad dressing and using this as a side salad to a meal.  I’ll have to give that one a try and let you know!

Shari

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