As we all know, 'tis the season to eat zucchini. I don't know about you, but I don't find very many recipes that include zucchini that make me go WOW. Just last night, I was watching Iron Chef America and one of the judges commented that he was not sure how the chefs were going to showcase zucchini because it really doesn't have that much flavor. Personally, I agree. I find it watery and bland. But it's good for you and there's always plenty of it—and then some—at this time of year.
A couple of months ago, my book club read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegatable, Miracle. While I didn't love the book, I did enjoy some of Kingsolver's recipes, including the following for Orzo with Zucchini. I've made a few changes from the original (most notably, I've upped the cheese content significantly). Here's what's great about this recipe:
- It uses a TON of zucchini.
- It's very forgiving.
- It tastes good hot, warm, or at room temperature.
- It's really easy.
- It can be a main course or a side dish.
- It's kid-friendly.
- I repeat: IT USES A TON OF ZUCCHINI!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Orzo with Zucchini
1/2 lb. orzo
3 T. or so olive oil
a lot of zucchini: five or six small ones, two or three large ones, or even more
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 c. or so grated/shredded cheese of your choice (the original recipe calls for parmesan, but I've used goat cheese, parmesan, asiago, or feta)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook orzo according to package directions.
2. Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. Squeeze out excess water.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Saute grated zucchini and onion over medium heat until well-cooked and beginning to brown.
4. Combine cooked orzo with cooked zucchini and onions. Stir in cheese.
That's it! Told you it was easy. Enjoy.