Last updated on March 19th, 2023
Local, healthy, and fresh ingredients and seasonal vegetables are the core of the Mediterranean diet. But those are not the only elements. This Orzo Pasta, which resembles rice, has increasingly become the center of many dishes along the Mediterranean coast.
Moreover, this popularity has crossed many borders as it is something you can find in most local markets nowadays. Do you want to know about its benefits and two ways of including it in your weekly meals? You may visit https://riceselect.com/product/orzo for more information.
What is it, and how to cook Orzo Pasta?
Orzo is a tiny-shaped pasta made of semolina wheat. It resembles rice in image and more. Because it is made of wheat, it is a super-filling ingredient, perfect for making yummy dishes.
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Moreover, it offers the versatility that we are used to loving about rice. Most rice-based dishes can be made with orzo too.
Last but not least, it is also similar to rice in the time it takes to cook. With a normal one to two cups proportion, using two cups of water for every cup of orzo, ten minutes are enough to get a soft but firm pasta.
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So, when to choose each? That is basically up to you and your preferences. But rest assured, orzo has the best of both worlds; it is as versatile as rice is and as filling and delicious as pasta can be.
And it is worth mentioning it is a perfect ingredient to have in stock if you’re vegan or vegetarian and want to try new things.
Try orzo in hot meals, cool summer salads, side dishes, or main meals, and orzo will easily become a staple in your cooking.
Orzo and Kale Risotto
This is a great option for you if you really enjoy this Spanish dish but want to give it a twist. You’ll find the texture is quite similar, but experience new flavors. Here’s how to make it.
- 2 cups of orzo.
- 2 tbsp of vegan butter.
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- 1 onion.
- 2 cloves of garlic.
- 1 cup of dry wine.
- 6 cups of vegetable broth.
- 2 cups of kale.
- 1 tsp of salt.
- 1 tsp of black pepper.
- ½ cup of tofu cheese.
- In a medium-sized pot, pour some extra virgin olive oil and butter. Pre-heat and let the butter melt.
- In the meantime, peel and chop the onion and do the same with the garlic.
- Take them to the pot and sprinkle some salt. Cook until the onion is translucent, and then add the wine.
- Bring the mix to a boil and keep cooking until half the liquid is absorbed.
- Now, add two cups of orzo and, at the same time, two cups of vegetable broth. Cook and let the liquid absorb. Stir from time to time.
- As the orzo is cooking and the liquid is absorbed, add more broth. Do it with one cup and do so until the orzo is fully cooked.
- Once done, add the kale and the tofu cheese. Cook and stir continuously for a couple of minutes until the cheese is fully melted and you get a creamy mixture.
- Season the whole mix with salt and pepper, and add whatever seasoning you like.
- If you like cheesy meals, serve and top it all with some extra cheese.
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Note: you can make the vegetable broth at home, using the ingredients you like, but make sure to make it at least a day in advance. If you don’t have the time to do so, you can always resort to a vegetable-flavored cube in two cups of boiling water.
Are you planning your weekly meals ahead? Try this orzo-based recipe. Make in advance and freeze. You can reheat this in a microwave or over low heat on your stove.
Adapt the quantities to what you need, taking into account that this recipe is for six servings.
- 1 ½ cups of orzo.
- 4 zucchinis.
- Extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 carrots.
- 1 cup of mushrooms.
- ½ cup of green onions.
- 2 cloves of garlic.
- ¼ cup of mustard.
- Fresh basil.
- ½ tsp of salt.
- ¼ tsp of black pepper.
- Vegan cheese.
- Basil leaves.
- Start by cooking orzo according to the instructions in your packet. You should use two cups of water for every cup of orzo.
- As the orzo is cooking, wash the zucchinis and remove all the dirt. Take a big pot and, in boiling water, cook the zucchinis for no more than five minutes.
- Once done, set them aside and let them cool. Once they cool off, cut them in half and scoop out most of the inside. Do not throw the centre out.
- Take a medium skillet and pre-heat some olive oil. Take the previously washed and chopped vegetables, that is, the carrots, the garlic, the mushrooms, and the centre of the zucchini.
- By now, the orzo should be done, so drain it and mix the vegetables with the orzo together in a big bowl.
- Season everything with salt, black pepper, and some mustard (skip this if you don’t like it, or replace it with something creamy).
- Pour some more olive oil and give everything a good stir.
- Place the halved zucchini on a roaster and fill them with the mix.
- Sprinkle the vegan cheese you like all over and take the roaster to the pre-heated oven for ten minutes or so. Top everything with some basil leaves, and enjoy!
Now get a packet of orzo and start experimenting with this delicious ingredient!
Is Orzo Pasta Vegan?
Orzo pasta is typically made from semolina flour, which is a type of wheat flour. As such, it is considered to be vegan.
Is Orzo Pasta Gluten-Free?
Orzo pasta is traditionally made from semolina flour, which is a type of wheat flour and contains gluten. As such, it is not considered to be gluten-free.