This recipe may not seem all that thrilling at first glance. Some veggies, some pasta, some cheese. But, if you are looking for a veggie-full, healthy dinner option to start off your New Year’s Resolutions, this is for you!
I wanted to make this dish because I do love my veggies and got some Jurassic-sized carrots in my organics box, along with some parsnips (“Mama, why are those carrots white?”), which I am sad to admit, I have never cooked with and maybe have never tasted before now…
I was a little scared by the Granny Smith apple, but it just adds a subtle sweetness to the earthy root vegetables. At first taste, while seasoning, I wasn’t wholly convinced that I would love this, but it turns out both D and I really, really did! He went back for seconds and thirds.
Note: I didn’t have a rutabaga, so I just added more carrots and parsnips.
Orzo with Sweet Winter Vegetables
Yield: About 7 1/2 cups (five 1 1/2-cup main-course servings or 8 to 9 side-dish servings)
1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small sweet onion, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3/4 cup)
1 large carrot, peeled and trimmed, then cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
1 medium parsnip, peeled and trimmed, then cut into small dice (1 cup)
About 1/3 of a medium rutabaga or 1 medium white turnip, peeled and trimmed, then cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
8 ounces dried orzo pasta
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
2 tsp. unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
4 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half, then into thin slices (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion starts to soften.
3. Add the carrot, parsnip and rutabaga; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat so the vegetables soften slowly but don’t brown.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat; add the orzo and cook according to the package directions. Drain.
5. When the vegetables are just tender, stir in the apple and butter; season with pepper to taste and add the nutmeg.
6. Increase the heat to medium-high; if the pan seems dry, add some or all of the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the apple starts to soften, then stir in the sliced Brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sprouts are bright green and just tender. Remove from the heat.
7. Combine the drained orzo, the vegetable mixture and the 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese in a large serving bowl, tossing to incorporate and coat evenly. Taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed.
8. Serve warm or at room temperature, with more Parmesan cheese at the table.
Source: Miami Herald, originally from The Washington Post, January 4, 2012