Serve this dish at room temperature or chilled. If you make the orzo ahead, keep it refrigerated, and toss with the dressing mixture, parsley, and pine nuts just before serving.
4 cups uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 medium lemons)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
How to Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.
Combine rind, juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly add oil to juice mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add pasta to juice mixture; toss to coat. Cool to room temperature. Stir in parsley and pine nuts.
I was torn when it came to rating this -- it is a good solid recipe, but when I made this for our gourmet group this weekend everyone asked for the recipe. I made it as a side dish for lamb stuffed with fruit and macadamia nuts, so I wanted something that would not compete with the lamb but also would not be boring. This got raves. I agree with other reviewers that it is lightly flavored, but I think that's the beauty of it as a side dish.
This recipe was quick and easy to make and very tasty. The lemon flavor was just right, and the toasted pine nuts added just the right texture and flavor to the pasta. It was a wonderful side with the shrimp skewers I grilled. My husband and I are on Weight Watchers, and so I cut the serving size to 3/4 cup, which was still an ample serving and quite filling. I will definitely make this dish again. I liked this recipe as written, but you could easily add additional ingredients. For example, in the future, I might try adding chopped olives and feta cheese.
This has potential, but needs tweaking. Instead of using all parsley, I used equal amounts of fresh parsley, mint, basil, and oregano. Additionally, I sprinkled some seasoned rice vinegar in. And I used the more flavorful whole wheat orzo. So, yes, it was delicious with roast lamb and squash, but it definitely needs more flavor than this recipe contains as written.