Thursday, July 30, 2015

Orzo with caramelized onions and raisins

Definately some unique flavors here, but a nice side dish with grilled meats this Summer.
I'm having some fun with sweet, tangy, chewy, salty these days, and this salad has all three. A great salad to make ahead and let sit for a couple hours before serving, or it would be good cold, or even hot.  You decide!

I used the recipe from Food & Wine awhile back, but added a couple of tweaks. I felt it needed a bit more tang from the kalamata olive (or red wine vinegar) brine.  You could also use feta cheese in this instead of Parmesan, or omit cheese from it altogether.

Here's the original link:

Serves about 6

12 ounces orzo (2 cups)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
Kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, thinly sliced lengthwise
1-2 Tbsp of kalamata olive brine, or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, cover the raisins with warm water and let stand until softened, 10 minutes. Drain the orzo and rinse under cold water. Drain the raisins and transfer them to a large bowl with the orzo.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. 

Here's what was left after carmelizing them, I gave them a bit of a chop before adding to the salad.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the onion to the orzo along with the olives, cheese and parsley and stir. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Here's what it looked like before mixing it up... 

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