Toasted Orzo with Peas and Parmesan

Toasted Orzo with Peas and Parmesan
My daughter had called me today looking for this recipe and I realized I had not put on my blog yet. Coincidentally, I had just bought some fresh haddock for dinner, and thought it would be a perfect accompaniment to the Haddock Meuniere I was making tonight.  I initially found this recipe from Cooks Illustrated. Toasting the orzo gave this pilaf a real depth of flavor, adding Parmesan gave it a real creamy texture, and the nutmeg gave the Parmesan a nutty taste.

Toasted Orzo with Peas and Parmesan

Toasted Orzo with Peas and Parmesan

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Toasted Orzo with Peas and Parmesan

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 c.)
  • Table salt
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
  • 1 lb. orzo
  • 31/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 c. dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 10 oz. frozen peas (about 13/4 c.)
  • 2 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 c.)
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • Ground black pepper


  1. Heat butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; when foaming subsides, add onion and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened and is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add orzo and cook, stirring frequently with heatproof rubber spatula, until most of orzo is lightly browned and golden, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Off heat, add vermouth and chicken broth. Return skillet to medium-high heat and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all liquid has been absorbed and orzo is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. With rubber spatula, stir in peas, Parmesan, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Let stand off heat until peas are heated through, about 2 minutes; adjust seasoning with salt and serve.


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