Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yotam Ottolenghi's Basmati Rice & Orzo

This week I was feeling under the weather so I was craving something mild, easy, and basic.  Ottolenghi's Basmati Rice & Orzo was wildly aromatic but also perfectly comforting and very kid-friendly.

This is a rice dish that would be great with just about anything.  I served this rice with sausage and caramelized onions and it was really a fantastic meal that received high praise from my husband and daughter.  

This recipe is a little more time-consuming than cooking a pot of long-grain rice, but I like to change things up now and then so I feel like the extra time is worthwhile.  Also, cooking rice can be a tricky thing. Stir the rice too much and it will be a clumpy gluey mess.  I think the key to good fluffy rice is NOT STIRRING AT ALL, or rather stirring as little as possible.  Another important tip is to take the rice off the heat when it is done cooking and allow it to set for at least 10 minutes before you fluff it.  If you follow those steps you will almost always get perfect results. 

Basmati Rice & Orzo
Adapted from Jerusalem
by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
Serves 6

1-1/3 cup basmati rice
1 tablespoon melted ghee or unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
scant 1/2 cup orzo
2-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt

Wash the basmati rice well, then place  in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water.  Allow it to soak for 30 minutes, then drain.

Heat the ghee and oil over medium-high heat in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan for which you have a lid.  Add the orzo and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until the grains turn dark golden.  Add the stock, bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the drained rice and salt, bring to a gentle boil, stir once or twice, cover the pan, and simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes.  Don't be tempted to uncover the pan; you'll need to allow the rice to steam properly.

Turn off the heat, remove the lid, and quickly cover the pan with a clean tea towel.  Place the lid back on top of the towel and leave for 10 minutes.  Fluff the rice with a fork before serving. 
Theme: Potluck


  1. Sounds good. Kind of like a homemade rice-a-roni! Hope you are feeling better!

  2. I've been wanting to make this, but keep forgetting about it. When Gabe was little he never called orzo by its name. He always called it "pasta shaped like rice." So...the fact that this dish is rice and "pasta shaped like rice" is a total scream to me! I like the sound of your whole meal, Kim. Hope you are feeling better!

  3. Love your meal, Kim. This is such an intriguing dish, and speaks to me of the genius of Ottolenghi - who would ever have thought of putting pasta and rice together? But this seems like the perfect comfort food when you're feeling a bit under the weather, and sausages on the side - what could be better? Hope you're feeling better now xo

    1. Quaker Oats has been doing it since thing he is a genius too :)
      (Rice a roni😊)

  4. Lovely, Kim! I should really try this one day! I love basmati rice, but have never tried cooking it with orzo before! Will look for orzo on my next grocery shopping! Thanks for sharing!
    Hope you have a great week ahead!

  5. My mom used to always make a Near East rice pilaf that looked exactly like this!! can't wait to try it and see how it compares that childhood staple.

    Feel better love!

  6. This would be a good side pairing to the sausage. I really enjoy a good rice dish. This rocks.


    P.S. Have you moved your Google reader yet?

  7. I love this dish--simple but different with the orzo-basmati combination. What a perfect side dish with most anything (although it looks darn good with that sausage and caramelized onions!) ;-) Glad you are feeling better.

  8. My family loves this dish and yours looks fantastic. I wasn't aware of the popularity of this combination until I was in a Middle Eastern grocery store recently and saw bags of uncooked basmati rice mixed with already browned vermicelli need to sauté the pasta first, just steam!

  9. Absolutely delicious basmati rice,classic recipe..looks divine.

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