- 1 1/2 cup dried orzo pasta
- 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 16 ounce package frozen artichoke hearts thawed and quartered (leave tender leaves attached; or 14.5 can drained & rinsed and quartered
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup parsley finely chopped, plus 6 sprigs for garnish
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest finely grated (divided)
- 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted and roughly chopped walnuts or almonds
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- grated Parmesan cheese
- Prepare your mise en place.
- Bring a 4-quart pot of water to a boil, add orzo, return to boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 8 minutes until just tender.
- Using a sieve, strain orzo reserving ⅛ cup of water in the pot.
- Return drained orzo to pot with liquid. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and stir to coat. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add artichoke quarters and stir to combine, scraping garlic from bottom of pan. Continue cooking 5-7 minutes until everything begins to brown
- Remove from heat and immediately pour in vinegar to deglaze the pan. Vigorously scrape the bottom of the pan to release the browned bits.
- Add in minced parsley, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and the roasted nuts. Stir to mix evenly.
- Spoon artichoke mixture into orzo and stir to distribute everything evenly.
- Taste the dish and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve on individual plates. Garnish with a sprig of parsley, a pinch of Parmesan cheese and a few sprinkles of lemon zest.
- Offer with freshly cracked pepper, accompanied by focaccia bread and a fresh green salad.
This recipe can easily be made with fresh artichokes when they are in season and inexpensive.
1. Steam 6-8 fresh artichokes in a large stockpot of boiling water for about 45 minutes until they are tender.
2. Drain the water and let the artichokes cool completely. (Steps 1 & 2 can be done the day before).
3. Remove all the outer leaves and the “choke” itself. Only the hearts are used in this dish, save the leaves to eat as a snack. Discard the fuzzy inner choke.
4. These will be larger than either the frozen or canned options, so cut the hearts into quarters, then cut each quarter into 4 equal pieces and sauté with the garlic as described above.
This recipe is from the award-winning cookbook, Eat it Food Adventures with Marco Polo available at recipe4success.org