I love this recipe for so many reasons, its really delicious, the simplicity, has ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and refrigerator, and how quick and easy it is to prepare and I can’t forget what a revelation it was to toast the orzo, it gives this little pasta an incredible depth of flavor. I first saw this recipe on food52 when Emily entered it in the citrus contest and have been wanting to try it ever since. First let me talk about Emily (EmilyC is her cooks name on food52), she is a busy Mother of an adorable toddler, has won two contests on Food52 and will be published in the second food52 cookbook coming out in October of this year. Her recipes are full of flavor using readily available ingredients and are so easy to prepare. Try her contest winning shrimp burgers with roasted garlic-orange aioli or her crispy cream braised potato and fennel. I chose to feature this recipe thinking how great it would be with grilled fish, the toasted orzo with bright citrus, fresh herbs and earthy olives is the perfect accompaniment for my wild chilean sea bass. You can view Emily’s other recipes on food52 http://food52.com/cooks/13503_emilyc#recipes-added-tab.
1 ¼ cups orzo
2 cups water or low-sodium broth (or combination of both)
2 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional to taste)
finely grated zest from 1 large lemon or orange (reserving juice)
Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ cup of your favorite olives
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped chives, flat-leaf parsley, or herb of choice
- In large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add orzo; stir to evenly coat all of the orzo with olive oil; cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add water and zest, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until orzo is al dente and liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. If orzo is cooked but liquid remains, drain the orzo, return to pan, and cook about 30 seconds longer over low heat to dry the orzo.
- Stir in olives and chopped herbs, and add kosher salt, pepper, citrus juice and olive oil to taste. Enjoy!
I prepared the fish using Eric Riperts recipe that was featured on food52 and made a parsley, lemon, caper gremolata.