A Squared: Summer Herb Orzo

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Summer Herb Orzo

One of my favorite things about summertime is the amazing seasonal produce. Living in the Midwest, our cold winters can make eating tons of fresh seasonal produce and herbs all year round a challenge so we are sure to take full advantage of what's available in the warmer months.

We live a few miles away from Chicago's Green City Market, a huge twice weekly farmer's market that hosts dozens of farms, artisans, and vendors from Illinois and the neighboring states of Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Hannah is an early riser and Clery loves a long walk, so we've made a little Saturday morning tradition of heading out first thing in the morning, stopping for coffee and pastries, and then walking down to the market. It gets Hannah out and about, tires the dog, and ensures that Alex and I get a little exercise and some healthy food for the coming week.

After we returned last Saturday, we were tired and decided that dinner should be something low maintenance that we could enjoy while we wound down from the day. I surveyed our kitchen and our farmer's market haul and decided we'd grill some smoked Italian sausages (from Paulina Meat Market-- the best!) along with the sweet and spicy peppers and an onion that we had picked up earlier that day. To round it out, I made a super simple orzo that's the perfect summer side dish! This orzo has a ton of fresh flavor from a little lemon juice and 3 different kinds of fresh herbs: basil, oregano, and parsley. The flavors complimented the Italian sausage nicely, but could also work really nicely with a grilled chicken breast, shrimp, or even a steak. A little fresh Parmesan finishes it off and that's it! It's so easy to make, is a great way to use up the herbs from your garden (or from the farmer's market!), and is delicious served cold, warm, or at room temperature.

  • 2 cups cooked orzo
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan

In a medium bowl, combine orzo and next 7 ingredients through red pepper flakes. Fold in the grated Parmesan. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serve chilled or at room temperature.


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