Saturday, August 2, 2014

Lemon Basil Orzotto


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 1/2 cup orzo
  • 3 cups homemade vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced basil
  • juice of a large lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup fresh Romano cheese
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • shaved Parmesan cheese


Zest (and mince if long curls) rind of lemon and set aside.  Juice lemon and set aside.  Mince (or purée) onion and set aside.  Mince garlic and set aside.  Grate Romano and set aside.

In a sauteuse pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until fragrant and translucent. After the onion is partially cooked, add in garlic.  Then, when the onion is finished, add the orzo and toast for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and cook until absorbed.

Gradually add the stock, stirring frequently. Bring to a vigorous simmer, lower the heat, and cover. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed and orzo is tender. [You may need to remove the lid for the final few minutes to reduce the stock.]  Remove from the heat.

Stir in Romano, fresh basil, lemon zest, heavy cream, and lemon juice. Season the orzo with sea salt and pepper, to taste.  Top with shaved Parmesan and serve immediately.

Myrtle's Note:  Lemon and basil needs garlic, right? That's the first change I made.  I also changed from chicken stock to vegetable stock and from Parmesan to Romano.  But I did work in some Parmesan.  Since I only like and have one kind of white wine, I did not use a dry wine; I used my beloved Barefoot Moscato.  And, of course, I ditched the peas.  I am not a fan of rice, having grown up eating far too much of it, so I was delighted to discover that you can make a risotto with orzo ... orzotto!

Yield: 4 main servings; 6-8 side servings

Adapted from: