Is it Rice? Is it Barley? Is it Couscous? No… It’s Orzo

If you’re a foodie, or if you happen to identical to to attempt new native dishes or these from different cuisines, you may have in all probability heard a number of folks speaking enthusiastically about their new culinary discovery—orzo. Would you prefer to know a little bit extra about orzo? We’ll let you know the fundamentals of what you want to know if you happen to determine to do this versatile meals.

What’s orzo?

As a result of orzo seems like elongated grains, those that see them for the primary time could imagine that it’s a new species of cereal, or maybe a really unique number of barley, and even of the previous rice we already know. In truth, orzo is a form of pasta, and, in fact, it’s made from wheat. The most effective orzo is comprised of durum wheat semolina, such because the orzo you’ll find at

Semolina lowered to small oval or spherical items is a typical foodstuff of the japanese half of the Mediterranean, however the variations of orzo greatest identified within the western hemisphere, together with America, are Italian. In truth, the title orzo is an Italian phrase—it means correctly ‘barley’, due to its look—. In Italy, this pasta can also be referred to as risone—which means ‘massive rice’, additionally due to its look.

Is orzo the identical as couscous?

Though each meals are made from wheat, they don’t seem to be the identical.

Orzo is at all times comprised of pure semolina. Couscous, alternatively, may be comprised of semolina or different cereals resembling millet or barley. There are even variations of couscous comprised of floor potato.

Clearly, couscous and orzo additionally differ in form, particularly when uncooked—orzo seems like elongated grains of rice, whereas couscous is formed like granules or small balls.

When combined with different meals, the style of orzo and couscous are usually not simple to tell apart. Nevertheless, the feel is completely different—couscous is softer and spongier, perfect for giving physique to sauces and salads, whereas orzo is firmer and extra “chewy”, i.e. extra appropriate as the bottom of a major course.

Is orzo appropriate for vegans?

Not like couscous, which is a meals made solely with vegetable components, common orzo will not be appropriate for vegans—like all form of pasta, orzo is made with egg. Nevertheless, there are vegan variations of orzo that may be bought. These vegan variations may be flavored with vegetable juices, which give them a really particular contact.

How is orzo eaten?

Orzo, as we’ve got already mentioned, is a form of pasta, and it goes very effectively in any dish that would have pasta in it.

Thus, we are able to eat orzo with varied sauces Bolognese, carbonara, pesto, marinara…—, the identical ones you’ll use when consuming the pasta you want greatest —spaghetti, linguini, rigatoni, farfalle… Orzo is even scrumptious merely al burro, that’s, combined with melted butter. When you just like the basic macaroni and cheese, additionally, you will like orzo with cheese. Simply put some grated or melted cheese on high of a portion of cooked orzo.

Another choice is to use orzo as a base for varied fillings. Like couscous, orzo is nice combined with fish to stuff crimson tomatoes, and with greens and meat to stuff zucchini and eggplants.

Orzo can be used to present physique to a sauce or salad, particularly a inexperienced salad, as can also be achieved with couscous.

How is orzo cooked?

Bear in mind as soon as once more: orzo is a form of pasta, and like all pastas, it have to be cooked in boiling water.

Usually, not more than half a cup of water is used for every cup of orzo, and it ought to be boiled for six to 10 minutes. When you want extra exact instructions for cooking the model of orzo you may have bought, you need to learn the directions offered by the producer.

Orzo, like all pasta, grows by absorbing water. Due to this fact, be sure you use a big sufficient saucepan.

With the minimal cooking time of six or seven minutes, orzo seems fairly agency, simply tender sufficient to chew—Italians and cooks say al dente, i.e., ‘ appropriate for the tooth’). When you like your orzo a little bit softer, you should utilize three quarters of a cup of water and prepare dinner to the utmost time of twelve minutes.

The remainder of the preparation will solely rely in your style and your creativeness.



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