On TV, people are always making orzo. It’s one of those peculiar habits that seem perfectly natural to see people do on TV but are rarely done in real life anymore, like reading an analog newspaper. So when I saw some orzo in the pasta aisle at Trader Joe’s, I had to try it. The next day, I picked up a Red Eye on the way to work.
1. Boil it: Orzo is a pasta, believe it or not. So boil water, dump it in, keep it moving. Strain.
2. Rinse it: I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do with the orzo, but in my mind’s eye, it needed to be room temperature. So I rinsed it in cold water as I drained it.
I don’t speak a word of Italian, but I’m fairly sure that orzo means “little fish scales.” Because that’s what orzo looks like when you cook it. Then, as you rinse it, the water pushes/aligns all the orzo in the same direction. Like fish scales. Or maybe even a school of tiny albino fish.
3. Cheese it: I mixed in about half a container (about 2-3 oz) of crumbled feta.
4. Other stuff: I put in a little drizzle of olive oil and a whole bunch of cracks of pepper. That was it. If I had lemons, I would have added them. I didn’t have lemons.
5. Eat: We served this up with some grilled veggies, pitas, and homemade tsaziki. It was real good. Like macaroni salad but without all the annoying stuff that my wife doesn’t like. It was perfect with the grilled veggies, and even though I didn’t put a drop of citrus in it, my wife swore that she tasted lemons. The whole thing just had a clean-ness to it that was really fresh.
We had this dinner outside on our roof, where we have a view of the lake. For some reason, eating the orzo in view of water made it feel like the orzo was nicely salted, even though I didn’t add a single bit of it.