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Ina Garten's Go-To Side Dish

Food & Wine logo Food & Wine 6/22/2018 Elisabeth Sherman
Ina Garten holding a piece of food © Jeff Neira/Getty Images

This summer, you’ll probably be spending plenty of time by the grill cooking meat: burgers, steaks, pork chops—the kind of hearty, filling food that will keep your family satisfied in the heat. Those heavy dishes should be accompanied by a light, vegetable-centric dish, and while you could go the boring route and boil some broccoli, Ina Garten has a much better idea: You could try out her favorite side dish, orzo (a short pasta in the shape of a large grain of rice) with roasted vegetables.

Garten recently wrote on her blog that this is the side dish she’s been cooking the most over the years. She calls it an “ all-in-one side” because it includes pasta, roasted vegetables, feta, and pine nuts, and it's topped with a lemon vinaigrette. Best of all, it’s versatile: You can cook it in winter alongside a rack of lamb, but in the summer, Garten says it also pairs perfectly with grilled steak or chicken.

Helpfully, Garten shares her own recipe for the dish on her website, and even better, it’s incredibly simple: All you have to do is toss your vegetables—eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic—in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Meanwhile, the orzo only takes about eight minutes to cook.

There are many more ways to play with orzo to create a satisfying summer salad. You can toss it with grilled corn and zucchini, or for a creamier take, you can bake orzo with goat cheese.

Ina Garten's Book Tour Kicks Off This Fall in Chicago The Barefoot Contessa will promote her new cookbook in nine cities around the country.

Another benefit to this pasta is that it can also be served with seafood. A fresh, light dish of orzo and scallops, topped with tomatoes and ginger would fit right in at your next dinner party, for instance.

If you’re looking for a simple way to incorporate vegetables onto your plate, or if you’re looking to experiment with a versatile new pasta, trust Ina Garten: Orzo is the way to go.

Related: Should You Wash Chicken Before Cooking It? This Is What Ina Garten Says [Food & Wine]

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