Friday, May 22, 2009
Orzo with Tomatoes, Feta, and Mint
To accompany a flavorful Greek-style pork tenderloin with tzatziki sauce, I put together this orzo with tomatoes, feta, and mint. Orzo is a very versatile pasta, delicious at all temperatures and a wonderful foil for other flavors such as the ones featured here.
I didn't use a recipe but added ingredients as I liked (or rather had in my kitchen). You can easily substitute and/or combine other ingredients like artichokes, olives, sundried tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers, roasted eggplant, red peppers or caramelized onions, use other cheeses, and try other fresh herbs like dill, basil, or tarragon.
1/2 box of orzo
Chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 package grape tomatoes, cut in 1/2
1/2 cup dry white wine like Chardonnay
Penzey's Mural of Flavor seasoning or other mixed seasoning (optional)
Salt and pepper
Fresh mint, oregano, and parsley, minced
Cook 1/2 a box of orzo as directed on the package in chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water. I used a whole box of Pacific organic chicken broth, but if you just have a can of broth around, just add enough water to the broth for the orzo to cook.
While the orzo is cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, add a couple tbs. of olive oil and saute onions until transparent, about 3-5 minutes. When the onions are almost cooked, add the minced garlic and saute for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook for a minute and then add about a 1/2 cup of wine and simmer together for about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and turn off the heat until the orzo is ready.
When the orzo is al dente, drain and reserve the cooking broth. Add orzo to the sauteed onions and tomato mixture. Mix together and add as much reserved chicken broth to make a sauce of sorts for the pasta (you can discard the rest of the chicken broth or use it for something else). Add as much crumbled feta and fresh herbs as you like. Taste and then add salt and pepper if necessary.