Recipe of the Week: Orzo with roasted Brussels sprouts, baby tomatoes and dill

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The dish is creamy, salty, hearty, nutty and tasting of late summer. Eat this for lunch or as a side with fish, chicken, or pork.

Orzo with Brussels sprouts, baby tomatoes and dill 

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

2c orzo, cooked in seasoned stock and lightly oiled

½ red onion, small dice

1lb Brussels sprouts, trim bottoms and quarter vertically

1c baby tomatoes, halved

2T dill, chopped

½ cup Sunflower Seed Kernels, roasted and salted

1T grapeseed Oil

¼ cup Parmesan, shredded

¼ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup water

TT salt

TT black pepper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place cut red onion into a small non-reactive sauce pot with a pinch of salt, the water and the Red Wine Vinegar. Place on high heat burner. Bring it to a rolling boil. Once it has boiled, remove from heat, cover and let cool. Once cool, strain off and reserve liquid.

While the onions are pickling and resting, places Brussels sprouts in a mixing bowl with 3T grapeseed oil and a generous pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper. Lay evenly on a sheet tray and roast in the oven until crisp and golden brown. Take them out of the oven and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl add: the cooked orzo, the roasted Brussels sprouts, the baby tomatoes, the chopped dill, the pickled onions, the sunflower seed kernels, the grapeseed oil, the Parmesan and 1T of the pickling liquid from the onions. Mix thoroughly.

Taste. Does it need salt? Does it need more acid or brightness? If so add a pinch of salt at a time and/or more of the pickling solution until all the flavors come through.

The dish should be creamy, salty, hearty, nutty and encompassing all the flavors that make late summer such a special time of year. As mentioned at the beginning, it’s the perfect dish for lunch, or as a lighter complement to fish, chicken, or pork.

Enjoy.

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Born and raised in the suburbs of Saint Paul, MN, Brandon has immersed himself into being a local and sustainable advocate for delicious living. Working for the best Chef’s in the Twin Cities before becoming the Residence Chef at the Minnesota Governor’s Residence and personal Chef for the Zimmern family. Foraging, eating, parenting, writing, cycling, consulting, catering and hosting pop up dinners are what his free time entails.