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RETURN TO RECIPES
TOASTED ORZO WITH FENNEL AND RED ONION
1 pound orzo pasta
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium red onions, sliced thinly
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced thinly, fennel fronds reserved for garnish
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup julienned fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon hazelnut oil
freshly ground pepper
While orzo is cooking, heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Coat the bottom of pan with 2 more tablespoons of the olive oil, add the onions, salt lightly, and sauté, stirring, until tender but not browned, about 3 - 5 minutes. Remove the onions from pan and set aside. Add 2 more tablespoons of the olive oil to pan, and heat over medium flame. Add fennel and saute until tender, 6 -8 minutes.
When the water in the pot of orzo has evaporated and orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, about 10 minutes, transfer it to a serving bowl. (If orzo is not tender, add cup water and continue cooking.) Stir in sautéed onion and fennel, parsley, and mint. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the hazelnut oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Serving ideas: Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with lots of fresh mint and some fennel fronds. For extra crunch, sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts or slivered almonds.
Yield: 6 - 8 servings