Thursday, January 6, 2011


Orzo is a rice shaped barley pasta that is perfect in this hearty, tasty, and lightly spiced Middle Eastern dish. It makes a great meal in itself alongside a green vegetable or as a side dish in a Middle Eastern dinner. This dish is lightly seasoned so you really get the right flavor without the spices being so overwhelming you cant taste anything else. As one diner at my table said, "it's not what I was expecting, but its still really good"

While it may look like a long time to be cooking, the onions take almost an hour, its not really active time. Once you add the sugar you leave them to cook, just stirring every 10 minutes or if they start to crackle. It also looks like a LOT of onions, and it is, but they cook down quite a bit.

You can make it with other grains too in place of the orzo, such as barley, quinoa, or brown rice, you just have to adjust the cooking time. In the past when i have used brown rice I just boil the pot of water and then cooked the rice for 20 minutes before adding the lentils to the same pot.

I'm linking up again to Presto Pasta Night being hosted over at Girlichef this week. Check out the round ups, always something (usually most everything) looks delicious

6 - 8 large onions, sliced
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 cloves fresh minced garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 1/4 c. brown Lentils
1 1/2 c. Orzo

1/4 bundle Fresh Parsley, chopped

Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, and cook over low heat until translucent. Add the sugar and continue to cook over low heat until caramelized, about 45 - 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook the lentils in 3 cup water until soft enough to eat, immediately drain. Return to pan and add 4 cup of water and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer until tender. Drain and add seasonings and then toss with onions.

Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley over the top and serve.


  1. Thanks you, it was filling and savory without being over bearing. I love making it and hope you do too.

  2. Oh, this sounds fantastic! I love the Middle Eastern flavors and the mix of orzo and lentils. Thanks so much for sharing it w/ Presto Pasta Nights this week :D

  3. It does look delicious - even if it isn't pasta. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  4. It is pasta though if you use the orzo, its just rice shaped.