Orzo is a tiny soup pasta which looks similar to rice. It makes an ideal side dish for Mediterranean-style dishes.
- 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
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.
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until tender, according to the package instructions.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings and 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.