Friday, June 24, 2011

Roasted cauliflower with Orzo

This started as a clean-out-the-fridge meal that turned into something amazing. Sometimes, happy accidents occur in the kitchen and this is one of them. The funny part is, I had to go out and re-buy the ingredients I was trying to use up in the first place in order to make this again for this post. But that's okay, as I'm a big fan of cauliflower prepared any way.

I loved all the components of this dish--the roasted cauliflower with red peppers, the almost creamy multicolored orzo and the astringency of the balsamic vinegar. Paired with roast chicken, it made an excellent side dish.

Roasted Cauliflower with Orzo

3 cups cauliflower florets
1 red pepper, sliced
4 tablespoons olive oil,
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried summer savory
1/4 tsp dried oregano
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 cup orzo
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup frozen peas,thawed
2 TBLS grated Parmesan cheese
2-3 tsps white balsamic vinegar

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, combine the cauliflower, and sliced red peppers with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to coat. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, stirring the vegetables a couple of times as they roast.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo according to the package directions, but sub in the chicken or vegetable stock for the water. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the thawed peas. Drain and return to the pot over low heat. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the Parmesan cheese and salt to taste.

Pour the orzo onto a plate and spoon the cauliflower mixture over it. Drizzle with the balsamic and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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