Posted 6/30/2008 12:10:11 PM
This was the best side dish I have ever made, and it really impressed the DH since he usually isn't into the soup stock-based creamy pasta or rice sides. I have already stocked up for the next batch to make this week. This side dish was served with wild caught salmon which was grilled on a gas grill. In making Spinach Orzo, first, I changed the orzo to oriecchiette (for availability reasons only). Second, I used home made soup stock from the leftover whole chicken parts (back and butt) from another recipe. Third, I would suggest you only use fresh ground parmesan cheese and not the shake-can variety. I know it's a little extra but it has a flavor that's so totally powerful. Fourth, I used fresh spinach leaves from a salad bag. We cooked this outside on the gas side burner of a gas grill and kept the temperature low enough to just simmer the contents. We stirred every 5 minutes. The result was an amazing creamy textured pasta, which had completely absorbed the flavored spinach juices and stock. The spinach was perfectly smooth, the pasta was slightly soft and also slightly chewy, and the soup stock and spinach juices combine for a glossy, creamy base. Even though you can get a creamy packet for a side dish (various store brands sell flavored instant boxed or bagged kinds), this one doesn't have any milk products but it still has that rich flavor and creamy texture, but without the lactose. Anyway, Spinach Orzo has so much more flavor and doesn't rely on any additives, I'm so glad I have this recipe. The only downside is the prep for me was a little longer than given.