Hi, have I got the easiest, tastiest, make ahead side dish for you?? Oh yes I have! Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo. And this dish does not disappoint as it is delicious.
While I’ve said this is a side dish (and vegetarian), it also makes a fabulous light lunch. Simply adding a few shavings of Parmesan would add extra oomph for lunch, served alongside some crusty, crunchy bread.
I’m getting hungry!!!!
While I’ve used red onion, peas, sweetcorn and red bell pepper in this dish – but feel free to switch up the veggies (celery is good) with whatever you have on hand. All I would say is the Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo is best served at room temp, or even warmed – BUT NOT COLD! Because no matter how much lemon/oil you add, when served fridge cold the Orzo clumps together and not in a good way! So there you go, an easy recipe that doesn’t take up any room in your fridge, or require any last minute fiddling. Yay!! We like easy!
Recipe : Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo serves 6-8 as a side dish.
500g/1lb Packet Dried Orzo – available from most supermarkets I buy mine from Waitrose
Juice of 1 Large Lemon
1 x Small Red Onion
150ml/5fl oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 x Garlic Cloves – crushed
200g/7oz Frozen Peas
Medium Can Sweetcorn
Salt and Pepper to taste
Method : Making the Lemon Garlic Vegetable Orzo
First of all put a large pan of water on to heat up for the Orzo.
Place the lemon juice and finely diced red onion into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix together. Also leaving the onion in the lemon juice will remove the acrid taste!
As soon as the water in the pan is boiling add salt and then the Orzo. Cook according to the packet instructions – taking care not to overcook or the Orzo will simply clump together!!
While the Orzo is cooking gently heat the Olive Oil and garlic together, for approximately 2 minutes on a medium heat. This allows the garlic to infuse the oil. And also the garlic is lightly cooked. Pour the garlicky oil over the onions and lemon juice.
Drain the Orzo as soon as it is cooked and pour straight into the bowl. Using a large slotted spoon immediately toss the Orzo in the oil/lemon juice – this will stop the Orzo from sticking together.
Place the frozen peas (I used petit pois) in the bowl and mix in with the hot Orzo.
Add the sweetcorn (drained) and the diced, red, bell pepper. Mix together and taste for seasoning – add salt/freshly ground pepper as necessary.
Take a handful of Basil leaves, roughly chop and sprinkle over.
Cover with cling film and serve at room temp.
This side goes fabulously with fish – Salmon especially, Chicken and Pork. It makes a fab alternative to roast potatoes and hot veggies for a Summer roast and completely seals the deal as part of a buffet. With very little effort. Gotta love that?!
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Enjoy feasting on this scrumptious dish and may we have many sunny days ahead to spend with friends and family, having fun round the BBQ!
Also, making sure there are hidden ‘Super-Soakers’ primed for action if it gets too hot – or boring!!!!
What do you look forward to now the days are longer and the sunshine is out??