Most days, Meghan and I plan out what to have for dinner that night over Gchat in the mid-afternoon. The other day, I asked what she was in the mood for, and she said, “Veggies. However you want to make them, I just want veggies!”
My mind raced; what did we have in the cupboard I could use as a base for a vegetable medley. I figured pasta of some sort would work, maybe bowties with a cream sauce... My inner monologue went something like this: We have bowties, right? Yeah, we didn’t finish that bag. Right?
This went on until I got home and opened the cupboards to see that no, there was no pasta left to be had. It was cold out and I had already taken off my pants (in favor of sweats) so I’d have to improvise. I began to despair, then saw half a bag of orzo hidden in the shadows. OK, I can work with this. When Meghan got home, she suggested a sweet base of some sort for the vegetables I was sauteing, and the result is what you see.
I’m getting good at making people think I know what I’m doing.
1 ½ C. orzo
3-4 C. water
1 16 oz. can white beans (I used cannellini but any “meaty” bean would work here; reconstituted dry beans can also be used)
1 red pepper, oven roasted
½ C. shaved carrots (2 small or 1 large carrot, shaved perpendicularly)
½ C. corn, fresh or frozen
1 T. dried shallot OR 1 fresh shallot, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
½ C. white wine
3 T. non-dairy butter
1 T. olive oil
½ t. dried basil
¼ t. dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep time: 30 min.
Cook time: 10-15 min.
Yield: 3-4 servings
Fill a pot with the water and bring to a boil with a bit of salt and the olive oil; while the water is heating up, slice the red pepper into 3 large, relatively flat pieces, place skin-up on a foil-covered baking sheet and roast in the oven beneath the broiler. They will be done when the skin has blackened and started bubbling up a bit but isn't overly charred, 5-10 min. Remove from the oven and wrap in the foil they were roasted on.
Open the beans and wash thoroughly, then heat up in water on the stove or in the microwave. Heat another pot on high; melt the butter, then add shallots, shaved carrot, corn, lemon juice, wine, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Your water should be boiling by now, so dump in the orzo and stir a few times, then go back to your veggies. Give them a stir, then unwrap the peppers, peel off the skins and chop. Add to the other vegetables and stir until the carrots are cooked (but still a little crisp) and a glaze forms. Also, stir your orzo so it doesn’t stick; it should take ~8 min. Remove from heat and drain, check your beans and drain as needed, then assemble in bowls: a bottom layer of orzo, then beans, topped with the glazed veggies.