Spring Rice Pilaf with Vegetables, Arugula and Cheese
A variety of veggies add a touch of springtime to this beautiful pilaf.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup orzo pasta or broken spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces on an angle
- 1 carrot, cut into short matchsticks
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus the juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 bunch arugula, chopped
- About 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Melt the butter in a medium size pot over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook until nutty and deep golden brown.
Add the EVOO, one turn of the pan, then the asparagus, carrot, shallots and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook to sweat the vegetables a bit, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, rice, lemon zest, thyme and browned pasta and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer until the rice is just tender, 16-18 minutes. Fold in the arugula, then stir in the lemon juice and cheese.