Orzo With Sweet Winter Vegetables 8.000

Matt McClain for The Washington Post

Jan 4, 2012

Here, the naturally sweet characteristics of carrots, parsnips, rutabagas (yellow turnips) and onions combine with shredded Brussels sprouts, apples and Parmesan cheese.

Don't worry about making your vegetable dice exact; a dice that's 1/4 to 1/2 inch will do.

For vegetarians: Serve with a green salad that includes toasted pecans and dried cranberries.

For non-vegetarians: Add grilled shrimp or scallops, or serve as a side dish alongside roasted poultry.

Make Ahead: All of the vegetables can be prepped up to 24 hours in advance.

8 - 9 side-dish

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-9 side-dish

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, such as Walla Walla or Vidalia, cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
  • Salt
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and trimmed, then cut into small dice (1 cup; see headnote)
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and trimmed, then cut into small dice (1 cup)
  • About 1/3 of a medium rutabaga or 1 medium white turnip, peeled and trimmed, then cut into small dice
  • 8 ounces dried orzo pasta
  • 1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into small dice (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half, then into thin slices (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt; reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion starts to soften. Add the carrot, parsnip and rutabaga; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat so the vegetables soften slowly but don’t brown.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat; add the orzo and cook according to the package directions. Drain.

When the vegetables are just tender, stir in the apple and butter; season with pepper to taste and add the nutmeg. Increase the heat to medium-high; if the pan seems dry, add some or all of the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the apple starts to soften, then stir in the sliced Brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sprouts are bright green and just tender. Remove from the heat.

Combine the drained orzo, the vegetable mixture and the 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese in a large serving bowl, tossing to incorporate and coat evenly. Taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with more Parmesan cheese at the table.

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Recipe Source

From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.