Reader recipe–Lemon Orzo Primavera

5 May

This recipe comes from Sarah at the Poverty Gourmet:


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed (I used my jarred minced garlic)
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded (I used 2 although 3 are pictured)
  • 1 (14 oz) can vegetable broth (I used broth made from a bouillion cube)
  • 1 lemon, zested (I used 2 tbsps lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, or to taste


1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat.
2. Stir in orzo, and cook 2 minutes, until golden.
3. Stir in garlic, zucchini, and carrot, and cook 2 minutes.
4. Pour in the broth and mix in lemon zest. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed and orzo is tender
5. Top with Parmesan to serve.

The verdict

OMG, this recipe is unbelievable! My husband and I literally devoured it. My daughter was too busy with her macaroni and cheese to even try it, which I was expecting due to the zucchini (the last time I tried to get her to eat zucchini, she threw it at me. I did not feel like dodging vegetables this evening). There is not a thing I’d change about this recipe because I think it’s perfect the way it is. And not only was this recipe super delicious, quick, easy and completely vegetarian (vegan, too!),  it forced me to do something I had been avoiding–shredding my own vegetables.

I’m lazy. Shredding requires a lot more effort than chopping and, since I’m completely accident prone, I have a fear of also shredding my fingers. So I usually make my husband do this particular activity. But he was not available this evening, so I did it myself. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad. I’d do it again.

A word about the lemon. I don’t have a zester. Zesting a lemon using a grater is not an easy thing to do, hence the lemon juice substitution. If you have a zester, I’d recommend using it but lemon juice was a fair substitution.

This recipe was ridiculously cheap for me to make. I had absolutely everything on hand, except for the pasta and the pasta was on sale for only  $.97 at the supermarket! I think, though, had I needed to buy all the ingredients (excluding the olive oil), it would have cost about $6 or $7 for the whole recipe. And since the recipe makes 4 servings, that’s between $1.50-1.75 per serving. That’s really not too bad.

I am so happy that Sarah posted this recipe because it can appeal to vegetarians as well as nonvegetarians, it tastes amazing and it’s inexpensive. If you’re afraid of grating your own vegetables, you can always buy the ones that are already shredded or you can always just chop the vegetables instead. Whatever you choose, make this recipe. You will not regret it.


2 Responses to “Reader recipe–Lemon Orzo Primavera”

  1. Sarah May 6, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    I am so glad that you enjoyed this recipe! This is one of my favorites, and I always make the full four servings so I can have leftovers for lunch.

    I’d like to add that I share a similar disdain for grating vegetables. I don’t think I’ve ever made this recipe without cutting my index finger, so I always make sure to keep my band aids nearby while making it. As for the lemon zest, I just hold the grater over the pot and grate the lemon directly onto the pasta when it calls for it. What can I say, my tendency to procrastinate shows in my cooking sometimes…

  2. Alyssa May 8, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    My family makes a similar recipe except with add in chicken. And instead of orzo we use a box of Near East rice pilaf…and instead of zucchini we use peas. But same basic concept. Simple and delicious.

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