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Orzo with slow-roasted tomatoes, lemon and parsley {vegetarian}

Make this orzo with slow-roasted (or sun-dried) tomatoes, lemon and parsley in a skillet. An easy side dish!

A great all-purpose side dish to accompany roast chicken, salmon or lamb chops, this orzo with slow-roasted tomatoes, lemon, and plenty of fresh parsley tastes as good at room temperature (for a picnic) as it does hot off the stove. Orzo is a small, flat pasta; in this recipe I cook it in a skillet, in the way I might cook rice for risotto, letting the pasta absorb the liquid slowly to give it a creamy texture at the end. I buy beautiful tri-color orzo at my local supermarket; it gets its color, and flavor, from spinach and tomato, and adds visual interest to this dish. Use regular or whole wheat orzo if that's what you have. I found the last of last summer's slow-roasted tomatoes in my freezer, and added them to the pan along with their oily juices. Good-quality sun-dried tomatoes will work well, too (be sure to add some of the oil from the jar). To turn this side dish into the main attraction, toss in some feta cheese, chickpeas, shredded cooked chicken, or steamed shrimp.

Use your favorite orzo, regular or whole wheat, in this tomato, lemon and parsley side dish.

Orzo with slow-roasted tomatoes, lemon and parsley

From the pantry, you'll need: orzo, butter, olive oil, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, slow-roasted (or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes), parsley, lemon, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.


2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 slow-roasted (or oil-packed sun-dried) tomato halves, chopped
2 cups orzo
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
Zest of 1/2 lemon


In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the butter and oil over low-medium heat until the butter begins to bubble.

Add the onion, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Stir in the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.

Then, add to the pan the tomatoes, orzo, broth and parsley. Season with the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low. Gently stir the mixture, and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to ensure the pasta doesn't stick to the pan, for 12-15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. The orzo will be creamy.

Stir in the lemon zest, and cook for 1 minute. Taste, and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and more lemon zest, if needed.

Serve hot or at room temperature. Or, cool completely, pack into an airtight container, and refrigerate.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes with orzo:
Orzo and shrimp salad with asparagus, bell peppers and feta cheese, from The Perfect Pantry
Whole wheat orzo with cucumber, mint, feta, olives, and zahtar vinaigrette, from The Perfect Pantry
Salmon chipotle chowder with orzo and corn, from The Perfect Pantry
Whole wheat orzo salad with kale, chickpeas, lemon and feta, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted vegetables and andouille orzo, from Table for Two

Need more creative ideas for using tomatoes all year round? Get 25 Tomatoes, my e-book packed with fantastic recipes, full-color photos and a fun video tutorial. With the FREE Kindle Reading app, delicious tomato recipes will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

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I love whole wheat orzo, which would work great in this. Sounds delicious!

Kalyn, I think the garlic and lemon flavors would be delicious with whole wheat orzo.

YOU are an angel! was in an "i-don't-know-what-to-cook-nothing-in-the-deep-freeze-or-pantry-jumps-out-at-me" mood this weekend...just plain ol' lazy i guess, LOL. saw your post yesterday morning and whaddya know--i actually had everything on hand for this delish sounding recipe and it was easy to put together, so.... guess what i made for my pack for dinner? ;0) i did kinda do mine a bit differently (because i didn't have any sun dried tomatoes) was to open a couple of cans of fire roassted tomatoes and roast them about 30 min in the toaster oven; used organic reduced sodium chicken broth (no veg broth) and i had some left over roasted chicken AND about 1/3 container of feta cheese i needed to use that i threw in the skillet, making it a tasty main meal....you saved my bunch from being subjected to weekend YOYO--"You're On Your Own" with what you can find HAHA! so thank you for this timely and delish recipe. i've never seen tri-color orzo...will have to look for it ;0)

Three Feathers, adding chicken and feta would make this a perfect main course dish for me! I love how creamy the orzo gets when it's cooked this way.

Love orzo!

Lydia, do you make your own slow roasted tomatoes? We grow lots of tomatoes in summer, and I would like to make some.

Jan, I do, and here's the link to how I do it: http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2006/09/roasted_tomatoe.html

Thanks very much, Lydia!

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