Toasted Orzo

Toasted Orzo

I had forgotten about this recipe for a while. I made it for a crowd many years ago and was asked for the recipe by a few of the guests.   They are still raving about it.  Since they reminded me of it I have put it back into my regular rotation of recipes.

Orzo is pasta in the shape of rice and makes a great side dish hot or as a cold salad.  Toasting the orzo in the oven before cooking it is an unusual step and  it gives it a wonderful, nutty flavour.  This makes a great side for pork or chicken. The mushrooms contribute to the nutty, earthy flavour of it so anything that mushrooms go well with, this will too.  I served it with schnitzel in the spirit of  Jaeger schnitzel.

The recipe calls for fresh tarragon.  If you like tarragon go for it.  I like it better without but my guests liked it in – so – it is up to you!

This makes a lot- about 12 servings so it is great for a crowd.  You may want to halve it if you only have a few people or you will be eating left overs! May not be a bad thing – it reheats well!

 

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Toasted Orzo
Toasted Orzo
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Rating: 0
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Toasted Orzo
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay orzo out in single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Toast in oven about 20 minutes. Orzo will be a medium brown.
  4. Sautée shallot in oil about 4 minutes. Use a large skillet since you will be adding all other ingredients in shortly.
  5. Add mushrooms and sautée another 10 minutes.
  6. Add broth, wine if using, orzo and bay leaf to the skillet.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook uncovered til orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed - about 20 minutes.
  8. Stir in cream and tarragon if using. Simmer another 5 minutes and serve.

Quinoa with Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto

Quinoa with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto

 

Toasted quinoa with Mediterranean flair.
Toasted quinoa with Mediterranean flair.

This is my favourite way to eat quinoa!  It makes a perfect ‘meatless Monday’ kind of meal! The quinoa takes on a nutty toasted flavour after the casserole is baked in the over.  Although this combination of flavours is the one I like best you can vary the layers with other ingredients to tailor to your taste or what you have – example – try a layer of roasted peppers, or fried mushrooms and caramelized onions or replace goat cheese with ricotta, replace pesto with tomato sauce. You get the idea!

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Quinoa with Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto
Quinoa with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto
Votes: 1
Rating: 4
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Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Quinoa
Fillings
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Quinoa
Fillings
Quinoa with Roasted Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto
Votes: 1
Rating: 4
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray deep casserole dish with cooking spray. I used 8 1/2" X 6 1/2" X 2 1/2 inch deep.
Quinoa
  1. Cook quinoa according to manufacturer's directions. Usually means put quinoa and water in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before stirring.
Fillings
  1. To roast garlic, trim the head off a bulb of garlic. Do not peal cloves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, wrap in foil and roast in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. When bulb is cool enough to handle squeeze cloves out of the skin.
  2. Mash roasted garlic, tsp olive oil and goat cheese together until evenly mixed and spreadable. Set aside.
  3. For the sun-dried tomatoes, add the wine to the hot water and soak the tomatoes approx 20 minutes. Drain tomatoes after they are softened.
  4. For the pesto I used Kirkland's Basil Pesto right out of the jar.
Assembly
  1. Layer 1/3rd of quinoa in the bottom of your casserole.
  2. Spread the sun-dried tomatoes evenly over the quinoa base
  3. Layer another 1/3rd of quinoa.
  4. Spread goat cheese mixture carefully over the quinoa layer. The warmth of the quinoa will help soften the goat cheese. Be careful not to stir up the quinoa layer when spreading the cheese. If your cheese layer is a bit clumpy it is ok as long as it is evenly distributed. It will melt further in the oven.
  5. Spread the pesto over the cheese layer.
  6. Top with remaining quinoa and press gently to even out the entire casserole.
  7. Heat in over at 350 degrees for approx 25 minutes
  8. Slice and serve.
Recipe Notes

If not serving right away you can refrigerate the casserole after assembling. When reheating it will take 20-40 minutes to warm through.