Orzo with Olives, Broccoli and Basil

This recipe from the “Vegetarian Planet” cookbook was just as delicious as leftovers as it was fresh. Now, there wasn’t much around to eat as leftovers because it was so good, but Jake was able to have a tiny bowl the next day with some quickly made toaster oven garlic bread. I always love orzo. I didn’t know how amazing it was until I tried it for the first time a few years ago. Now I always keep some on hand. I love the flavor of shallots, so fine and complex. You really can’t go wrong with this recipe. That is…unless you fail to make garlic bread to go along with it.

Orzo with Olives, Broccoli and Basil
1/3 cup olive oil
2 medium-large shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups small broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, lightly brushed clean and sliced
10 oz. orzo
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1 15-oz. can pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 cup basil leaves, lightly packed
1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet and add in the shallots. Sauté till softened.
2. Add in the garlic, broccoli and button mushrooms. Cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes.
3. Next add 2/3 cup water and let the veggies simmer till most of the water is evaporated. Transfer this mixture to a large serving bowl.
4. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of salted water. Add in the orzo and cook as directed on the package. Drain it and keep it hot.
5. Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, thyme and a drizzle of olive oil to the bowl of broccoli.
6. Add the orzo and stir well to combine.
7. Finally, stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve HOT and immediately.

Orzo with Olives, Broccoli and Basil

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