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Spiced Orzo with Spinach

Updated May 25, 2016

Orzo is a tiny soup pasta which looks similar to rice. It makes an ideal side dish for Mediterranean-style dishes.

Makes6 servings

Preparation Time5 min

Cooking Time25 min

CostInexpensive

Easy

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe CourseStarch

Dietary ConsiderationHealthy, Low-fat

MealDinner, Lunch

Taste and TextureHot & Spicy, Savory

Ingredients

  • 8 oz (220g) orzo
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • Pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 6 oz (175g) baby spinach leaves, washed, but not dried
  • 4 tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until tender, according to the package instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, about 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic, coriander, cumin, and cayenne, if using, and cook for 1 minute more.

Stir the spinach (with the water clinging to its leaves from washing) into the saucepan. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes, or just until wilted.

Drain the orzo well, shaking off any excess water. Add the orzo to the spinach mixture and mix well. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot or cooled.

Variation

Spiced Orzo and Spinach Salad: Make the orzo with spinach, and let cool. Stir in 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice and ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil to taste. Sprinkle with ½ cup crumbled feta cheese.

Notes

Prepare ahead: The dish can be refrigerated for up to 1 day, and served cold. If the mixture is too solid, toss with more olive oil.

Nutritional Benefits: Low fat.

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