This dish has three main ingredients and hardly needs a recipe, the ingredients, however, may need a bit of explanation. Orzo, is shaped like a grain of rice, is the Italian word for barley and is neither rice nor barley, orzo is pasta.
A Shallot, although thought of as an elongated onion, is not an onion at all, it is it’s own species and belongs to the Allium family, just like garlic. Sometimes shallots are mistakenly called scallions and vice-versa (see images below for a visual clarification). When you peel away the reddish-brown skin, you’ll discover that the shallots divide into 2 or three individual cloves.
You can toss thinly sliced, raw shallots into a salad, mince and add to a vinaigrette and create a delicious delicate sauce. I love to cook with these little gems because they are milder than onions and when you roast them, take on a delicious sweetness. Shallots are harvested in the summer and fall so take advantage of the season’s bounty with this recipe for Orzo with Roasted Shallots, satisfying on it’s own or a flavorful accompaniment to any meat or chicken dish. To avoid any confusion down the road, when a recipe calls for one shallot, unless it tells you otherwise, use the entire bulb.
- 1 pound shallots, peeled
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
Scallions (Green onions)
- Shallots are never all the same size, so rather than tell you to cut in half or quarter them, I would simply suggest you aim for pieces that are roughly the same size so they will cook evenly. After separating the bulb, I usually cut the larger cloves in quarters, medium-size in half and leave the small cloves whole (1 pound fresh = about 1 cup roasted).
- Place the shallots in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 350* oven until tender and a lovely shade of brown (about 40 minutes).
- In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, add orzo, stir, reduce heat and cook until orzo has absorbed the broth and is tender (about 8 minutes).
- Combine the cooked orzo with the roasted shallots and chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste.