Peaches and Cream Peaches and Cream

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lemon Orzo with Basil and Parmesan

I'm always up for trying new things, especially if I can use it as a side dish.  I feel that I am lacking inspiration in that department, so I am trying to make up for it.  I haven't really heard of orzo before,  so I was curious to find out more about it. It turns out that there isn't a whole lot of history available online for this pasta, but 'orzo' means barley in Italian (and was made from barley back then) but is now made from durum semolina wheat.  It's appearance is similar to rice, but smaller than a pine nut.  Orzo is an extremely versatile pasta-it can be used as an alternative for rice-like dishes, such as risottos (you might say 'orzotto's'!), casseroles, or served as a salad, ect.  It tastes great hot or cold, I've learned!

I had a craving for something with lemon in it (I get this often in case you haven't noticed), and had some spare basil as well.  I thought I would make something similar to a risotto, so I added parmesan cheese to the mixture. Then I thought I would throw in some mushrooms because well, I love mushrooms!  I'm sure there are recipes similar to this, but I just wrote down what I did as I went along and thought it worked great.  Gavin loved this recipe, and requested that I  make it again the next day (something that doesn't happen very often!) so I was pretty pleased with the results.  I loved that there was a hint of citrus but it wasn't too overpowering, with a slight hint of basil.  I thought that it paired nicely with chicken. I can't wait to try more orzo I just need to buy more (yes, the bag went extremely fast!)

Lemon Orzo with Basil and Parmesan
Serves 5-6

3 tablespoons butter
2 cups orzo
3 3/4 cup vegetable broth

4 mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce

2/3 parmesan cheese
1 lemon, juiced
5 basil leaves, julienned
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium stockpot, melt the butter over medium to high heat. Add in the orzo and stir frequently, until lightly browned.  Fold in the vegetable broth and cover when it starts to boil, reducing heat to low for about 20 minutes, or until all the moisture is absorbed.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in the mushrooms and soy sauce and sauté for about 6-8 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and browned. Set aside.

Stir in the parmesan cheese into the orzo immediately after cooking. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes, covered.  Stir in the lemon juice, until well combined. Add in the mushrooms and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Source: A Peaches & Cream Original (Yay!)


  1. Yum...I have never tried Orzo either so thanks for this you know I ADORE lemons as well so will be trying this .... :)

  2. Yum! I love orzo! It's great in risottos and excellent in salads. This recipe sounds delicious!
    Note to self: stop reading yummy tasting recipes before hungry!

    1. I am loving orzo myself! I can't believe I've gone through soo much already...I can't wait to try more recipes! I agree...I dislike reading recipes before bed, I get so hungry and then dream about food all night! Foodgawker haunts me in my sleep! Lol! :D Thank you again for your comment!



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