Until a year or so ago, I didn’t have a clue what orzo was.  It looks like rice, but it is actually pasta and IT. IS. SO. GOOD.  It is kind of hard to find because not all grocery stores carry it.  If you are in Louisville, you can buy it at Kroger in the pasta section.  It looks like this:

I was first introduced to orzo by Jenny Montgomery.  A bunch of friends were getting together for dinner and she made a side dish using orzo.  I found myself continuing to go back for more, asking everyone if they knew who made it.  After getting the recipe from Jenny, my search for more recipes using orzo began.  I found some really good recipes that I plan on sharing with you in the coming days.  To start off this parade of orzo recipes, I’ll first share with you one of my favorite ways to eat orzo.  I came across this recipe on one of the cooking blogs I follow: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.   You should check out her blog.  I have made several of her recipes, all of which turned out great.  Anyway, Joe and I love peas and parmesan so I figured this would be a hit.  It was a big hit.  I could eat this every week, it is that good.  I made it once as a side to our dinner, but lately I’ve made it for lunch as the main dish.  It is so easy for the twins to eat too.  If you don’t like peas, you can substitute other veggies for the peas.

***This is not my picture, which is obvious to anyone who has seen any of my food pictures.  This is Mel’s picture.

Toasted Orzo with Peas
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 ¼ C orzo
2 1/2 C chicken broth
1 C frozen peas
1 C Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley leaves (optional-I usually omit or toss in some dried parsley)
Ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and ¾ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the orzo and cook, stirring often, until most of the grains are golden, about 5 minutes. Carefully stir in the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the orzo is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the peas, Parmesan, and parsley and let sit until the peas are warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  This will feed four to six as a side.  I usually 1/2 this recipe for us.