Orzo risotto with spinach

Orzo, also known as risoni, or in french, langue d’oseau is a form of pasta, shaped like a grain of rice. It is a staple in our house and everybody loves it, especially when we make it risotto style. We always prefer eating risotto on its own with a vegetable or a salad. I served this orzo risotto with a plain fresh tomato salad with sliced spring onions. It is what I had in the fridge…the tomatoes were not in the fridge though, never keep tomatoes in the fridge!

Recipe

  • I small onion
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 cups of hot vegetable stock
  • 1 TBSP of butter
  • 1 TBSP of créme fraiche
  • 1 TBSP parmesan cheese
  • 2 large handfuls of washed and drained spinach leaves
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Slice the onion finely and sauté in the olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the orzo and sauté for a minute or two.
  3. Add a ladle of hot vegetable stock and simmer over medium heat until dissolved, while stirring all the time. Repeat the process until all the stock has been used or until the orzo has become al dente. Take care not to cook the orzo until dry, because with standing time it will become more dry and might then become sticky and clumpy. You want the risotto creamy and runny.
  4. Add the butter and créme fraiche when the risotto is still creamy and still has some liquid. Remove from the heat. See image below.
  5. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
  6. Add the spinach, a drizzle of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix gently.
  7. Serve on its own with some more grated parmesan cheese and a fresh tomato salad or serve with roasted chicken.

Serves 4

Pinch of salt

  • Use a large shallot instead of an onion.
  • Like with risotto, you can serve this with any vegetable you choose, steamed asparagus, roasted butternut for autumnflavor, plain with saffron, broccoli, or roasted sweet potato.
  • Add fresh herbs of your choice at the end of the cooking process.
  • Keep the risotto creamy by removing it from the heat until it is still runny and still has some liquid, or else it will become sticky and clumpy if you cook it until dry.
  • Serve the risotto as soon as possible. The longer it stands the drier it becomes.
  • Constantly stir the risotto to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
  • The cooking time is more or less about the same as for risotto, 20 minutes.

à bientôt

Ronell

Country onion soup(Soupe à l’oignon champêtre)

Winter has suddenly hit us with a bang and out came the soups of which onion soup is a favorite. The secret of a good onion soup rests on a good stock (preferably homemade) and of course the slow, deep caramelizing of the onions. If you want a quick soup for dinner, this is not it. But no doubt, for a cold day, an onion soup, topped with a melted cheese crouton, is pure heaven.

soupe à l'oignon 2 3482x3137

soupe l'oignon recette-001

Pincée de fleur de sel:

  • The longer you can caramelize your onions, the more flavorful they will be. It is a myth that onions can be caramelized within 10 minutes.
  • I cut my onions in quarters and then slice the quarters finely, because I don’t like long strips dripping soup  from my spoon.
  • To serve country style, serve the soup in a tureen with the croutons on top and serve each portion from the tureen.
  • It can also be served individually by placing a slice of bread on the soup, top with cheese and grill for a few minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Don’t be skimpy with the thyme as it adds to the flavor.
  • To really serve a soup and not soaked bread, don’t serve too much bread in the soup, for it soaks up a lot of the liquid and you will be left with only onions and soaked bread.
  • Serve the soup hot in warmed  bowls.

..a variety of onions..

Onion soup 1 3314x3096 3314x3096

..onions cut into quarters and sliced thinly, cooked until translucent and caramelized until dark and soft…

soupe a l'oignon

countrybread, called a tourte here inCorréze, sliced and torn into smaller portions..

Onion soupe 2 4669x3213

..Vieux Cantal( aged Cantal cheese) broken into small chunks and sprinkled on the bread and soup for a country dinner..

onion soup 3 3770x2635

To all my American friends and readers…have a Happy Thanksgiving!

..à la prochaine fois..

Ronelle