Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
Found printed on a package of celery from Cali. A recipe that can be either prepared as a stuffing or served as a side dish (or salad with a few modifications).
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3⁄4 cup yellow red onion (if desired, use red onion if you choose to prepare this as a salad)
- 1 1⁄2 cups diced celery
- 1 1⁄2 cups orzo pasta (cooked in vegetable or chicken broth and drained)
- 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries (reduced from 3/4 cup)
- 1⁄2 cup pecans (toasted) or 1⁄2 cup sliced almonds (toasted)
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil (fresh only!)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- cracked black pepper
- STUFFING: Melt butter with olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add diced onion, cooking 4 minutes or until onions are translucent and golden brown.
- Add celery; cook 4 minutes longer.
- In a large bowl, combine the drained orzo, cooked celery and onion, cranberries, nuts, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss gently.
- At this point, if desired, the orzo is now ready to be stuffed.
- As a SIDE DISH: Heat up the olive oil and butter in a saute pan on medium heat. Saute the celery, onion and UNCOOKED orzo pasta until lightly browned.
- Add 3 cups water or broth and bring to boil. Cover pan, reduce heat and simmer on low for 20 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cranberries, pecans, fresh basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- To make it as a SALAD: boil orzo and cook until tender. Drain and rinse under cool water. Drain again. Transfer orzo to a salad bowl. Add the diced onion, minced celery and shredded basil to the pasta. In a small non-reactive bowl, whisk together about 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice (play around with the proportion and amount of oil and lemon juice as desired), salt and pepper. Stir the vinaigrette into the orzo. FYI: the butter is omitted.
I've made this recipe several times, but with brown rice since I just never have orzo around. And usually slivered almonds instead of pecans. The flavors are incredible, and I've used this recipe as a base for other food items. I turned it into a sort of casserole for Thanksgiving last year, for example, and everyone raved about it!
I made this using whole wheat orzo and it turned out great. I used slivered almonds instead of pecans. The cranberries and lemon juice add a special zing. It's really delicious warm or cold. I'll definitely make it again!
I have made this several times now and I think it is a new go to side dish. I used brown rice instead of orzo. I toasted the pecans (enhanced the flavor). I think what I like the best is that it isn't too much more work than plain rice, but wow what a difference it makes!