Oh, this really was delicious. My mum used to make a tomatoed pilaffi, which she used to serve with many other things – salads and, sadly, pieces of meat. But now I have made her pilaffi using orzo, and I have adapted it using mushrooms for their lovely texture and flavour, and served it with a plain avocado salad. Orzo, also known as risoni, is a form of short-cut macaroni that resembles a rice grain. In Greece it is called kritharáki. This is one of those simple, but delightful and great tasting, easy to make dishes. Almost out of breath there. Simply sublime !
150 g ((5 oz) orzo. Cook it according to the packet instructions, but DON’T overcook it (so don’t leave it unattended) – drained, rinsed with cold water, and set aside
extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, very finely chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp curry powder
a pinch of ground cinnamon (no more)
10 mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
salt to taste
flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnishing
a wedge of lemon (optional)
- Place a saucepan on the heat, and heat up the olive oil. After a few seconds add the onion and garlic, and mix, making sure they cook well, but be sure not to let them burn.
- Next, stir in the tomato paste, and continue to mix so that it blends well with the other ingredients.
- Now add all the spices, and the mushrooms, and allow the mushrooms to soften, and for their juices to slightly reduce. This will probably take around 10 minutes.
- Next, add the cooked orzo, lower the heat, and gently mix all the time. Lower the heat to its minimum, and whilst stirring, allow the orzo to mingle with the sauce, spices and aroma. Within a few minutes it will be ready to serve.
- Garnish with parsley, and a squeeze of fresh lemon, if you wish.
- Serve with a Greek style salad, or my Middle Eastern Style salad, and vegan yoghurt. Bon Appetit !
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