Herbed Meyer Lemon Orzo
Special occasions deserve special side dishes. No matter what the holiday or other event, this delicious dish uses orzo as a base, and an interesting break from the everyday. Flavored with fragrant Meyer lemons, sharp feta cheese, and aromatic herbs, it’s the perfect side show to poultry, fish, pork, or beef, and leftovers will definitely perk up your usual brown bag fare.
- 1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
- 2 teaspoons finely minced shallot
- 2 tablespoons butter preferably unsalted
- 1 meyer lemon
- 1 garlic clove coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ounces feta crumbled
- 1 cup sugar snap peas cut in half, or fresh peas
Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a large pot along with a pinch of salt, and add the orzo.
Cook about 15 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed.
As it cooks, heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium low heat.
Add the shallots and cook a few minutes until translucent.
Zest and juice the Meyer lemon, and add both to the pan, along with the herbs, black pepper, and chili pepper flakes. Cook for about 5 minutes.
When the orzo is cooked, drain, reserving a little of the liquid. Rinse the orzo briefly in cold water.
Return the orzo to the pot, and stir in the Meyer lemon butter sauce. Use reserved pasta liquid to thin the sauce if desired.
Add the feta last, and stir in briefly before transferring to a serving dish.
If you add peas, cook them separately in boiling water until just turning tender and still a little crunchy.
Add to the sauce along with the Meyer lemon juice and zest, and cook the sauce another 2 to 3 minutes to infuse the peas with flavor.