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Carrot Orzo

Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Sissy Lamerton
Prep time 41 mins
Yield

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Though made with orzo rather than rice, this colorful dish is similar to a creamy risotto side. Topped with fresh Parmesan, chives and thyme, this pasta side is a tasty, vibrant side that is great for a crowd. Carrots loose their hard crunch while they boil, creating a smooth, soft textural bite, without turning the vegetable to mush. If you don't have orzo, you can substitute a pasta that you have on-hand, but we recommend sticking to orzo as it allows the carrot mixture to disperse throughout for mixed, plentiful bites.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Garnish: carrot curls

How to Make It

  1. Process carrots in a food processor 15 seconds or until finely chopped.

  2. Combine 2 1/2 cups water and broth in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH 5 minutes or until very hot.

  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until tender. Add orzo and garlic, and cook 1 minute.

  4. Slowly stir hot broth mixture, salt, and pepper into orzo mixture. Cook, stirring often, 15 to 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

  5. Stir in Parmesan cheese, chives, and thyme until blended. Serve orzo immediately. Garnish, if desired.