Herby Orzo

herby orzoI’ve made my share of risotto and herby pasta over the years, but this winter I fell in love with a new earth-y, broth-y, rice-like pasta dish that has the potential to taste even better as the first fresh herbs of spring shoot up and I’m looking for ways to eat them. I can’t say enough about how silky smooth and delicious this side dish is. We’ve sampled it alongside salmon and pork chops and steak. And my youngest, the one who really doesn’t eat much meat but could eat pasta 24/7? Well, she eats her orzo by the bowl-full. You might be tempted to, as well.

Makes 4 servings. Double if you want leftovers.


  • 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 16 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt (more, to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (more, to taste)
  • 1/2 cup sautéed veggies, think red onion and shiitakes or halved cherry tomatoes and broccoli
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup basil or spinach, cut into ribbons


  1. Melt butter in large cast iron Dutch oven over medium high heat.
  2. Add orzo. Stir to spread throughout pan. Sauté until lightly browned.
  3. Stir in stock, salt and pepper, and bring to boil.
  4. Cover. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook orzo until it’s tender and liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
  5. While orzo is cooking, add 1 Tbsp. butter to cast iron skillet. Heat to medium high. Sauté your choice of veggies. Set aside.
  6. Once orzo is done, stir in veggies, Parmesan and strips of basil or spinach. Serve warm.