Sunday, March 7, 2010

lemon veggie orzo

ever since she managed to land a sprinkle on a cookie and not on the floor, zhara has become very interested in what goes on in the kitchen. at first it was just about decorating, then also the making of cookies. after a while she demaned to attend the preparation of all desserts. now it's simply understood that we cook together. whenever i announce i'll be making lunch, or dinner, she pushes up a chair by the counter and gathers her plastic cutlery. then she asks what we're making and immitates my every gesture on her set of pans (aka spare measuring cups).

today we made this orzo, it's one of her favourite dishes and i'm sorry i don't have an extra hand to photograph her while she's working. she gets very focused, narrates everything she does and when she's pleased she smiles and her eyebrows go up in wonder of what she has achieved. i write off the state of my kitchen as collateral, and enjoy her having fun. plus she's more inclined to eat something she helped prepare.

i make this more than one way, sometime with pancetta or sausage, or maybe corn instead of zucchini. the method stays the same, the meat would be pan-fried first and the rest is the same. first sautee the onion and when it's soft add 3/4 cup orzo and cook, stirring often, until it's starting to color. add finely chopped red bell pepper, just a half if it's huge, and sautee a couple minutes. add 2 cups water, bring to boil and throw in 3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame. bring to boil again, cover and simmer 6 minutes. add one grated zucchini and cook another 2 minutes. the water should be almost absorbed, only a couple tablespoons left. add 1/3 cup grated parmesan, the zest of one lemon very finely grated and mix well to combine. correct seasoning. turn off the heat, cover and let it sit five minutes. serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a side.
zhara loves everything lemony, and while you can always add a squeeze of lemon juice to give it a more enhanced flavour, i like it with zest only. there's not a sour note, only wonderful perfume, a subtitle, an afterthought. and it's creamy, but not overly cheesy, and the orzo spends 10 minutes in the pan. sold.


  1. I guess Zhara is following your footsteps when it comes to cooking.. so nice!.. she gives u company..

  2. Hello Dana si La multi ani pentru 8 Martie! cu multe flori si zile senine, iubire si respect din partea celor dragi! merci pentru vizita si comment on my 600th post! pup, cu drag

  3. oh my, this dish looks PERFECT!

  4. hi uma, i am wondering if this fascination will last... i think it will as long as she's having fun, so i'm trying not to restrict her!

    nina, multumesc mult, te pup!

    simply life, thanks!


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