The weather's still hovering around the late 20's here in Sydney. This has given us the opportunity to still enjoy summer fare however I'm really craving for some autumn food! Will I ever be satisfied? Probably not! Anyway, I just wanted to share a very quick and easy meal I made the other day. I'm sure many of you have had a chance to try orzo. It goes by many names in Greek, namely "manestra" but is also known as "kritharaki". I believe the Italians call it risoni. It's a small shaped pasta resembling rice. It's quite a versatile ingredient traditionally used in soups or for the more well known "giouvetsi". "Giouvetsi" is a warming winter dish, where braised or casseroled meat is cooked in an earthenware vessel and the orzo is added and cooked at the last stages, where it soaks up all the meat and cooking juices.
I decided to give a summery spin to my orzo by turning it into a bit of a side "salad" to a main meal. Feel free to add your own ingredients and make it your own! I fried off some cubed eggplant and zucchini and finished it off with some freshly chopped parsley, lemon juice and a good splash of olive oil. I made sure the salad did have a little crunch to it by not over cooking the orzo or over frying the vegetables. I think the addition of capers would have made this dish just that "extra special".
- Half a packet of cooked orzo (about 250 gms)
- 1 small eggplant cubed
- 1 or 2 zucchini cubed
- a big handful of chopped parsley
- the juice of half a lemon
- olive oil for frying and drizzling
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the orzo according to packet instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Fry off the eggplant and zucchini ensuring it's not too mushy.
- Once the vegetables have cooked toss through the orzo along with the chopped parsley, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Add salt and pepper and you're done!
N.B. You might like to add some capers as well, maybe even some toasted pine nuts.