May 19th, 2009

Perfect for a Chilly Spring Evening: Zucchini Orzo Risotto with Feta

I left the house with my winter coat yesterday. Granted, I could have worn a lighter jacket… if I had one. But, without time to shop and a serious chill in the air, I had no choice. Which is weird. Because it’s MAY 18TH! Didn’t I post a glorious photo of radishes? Wasn’t I just cooking with ramps? It is Spring, still, right?!

I thought that maybe it was just a morning chill. It would surely warm up. But, no such luck. It was still pretty damn chilly on my way home. Not wanting to give up on spring inspired food, but also craving something that would warm the bones, I wondered what I could make for dinner. And it came to me as quickly as this chill has settled over (and will hopefully leave) NYC. I’d adapt Mike’s super comfort orzo risotto to use beautiful, green, springy zucchini!

This dish is bright and light, but also warm and comforting. Just right for a chilly spring evening. Enjoy!

Zucchini Orzo “Risotto” with Feta
(can be served to kids 8+ mos)*

1 32-oz box organic chicken or vegetable broth (about 4 cups)
1/3 c organic olive oil
2 cloves organic garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 large or 1 whole small organic onion, chopped
3 organic zucchini, grated and squeezed of excess water
1 box (1 lb) organic orzo
1 organic lemon (skip for kids younger than 12 mos)
organic feta, crumbled
salt and pepper

1. Heat broth in a small pot. In a separate saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add garlic. Stir until the garlic begins to turns golden brown, then add zucchini and onions. Saute until the onions soften and the zucchini starts to get a nice brown color.

2. Add orzo and stir until well coated. Season with salt and pepper (unless serving to very little ones, in which case, wait until the end). Add hot stock to orzo all at once.

3. Cover and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. After about 10 minutes, remove lid and continue to cook until orzo is done. Liquid will continue to absorb even after you turn off the heat, so make sure it’s still a little saucy.

4. Once the orzo is off the heat, but while it is still hot, stir in the feta cheese and, for older kid and adult portions, juice of 1/2 – 1 lemon and salt and pepper to taste.

Note: This dish is also great garnished with fresh, organic tarragon, dill, or oregano.

*Unless your child has a known dairy allergy or there is a history of food allergies in your family

2 Responses

  1. Danielle says:

    Hi,
    Great Blog! I’ve been looking for this all my life…
    My son is 8 months old. for lunch he eats pureed chicken soup (with vegetables – different every time). For dinner he eats white yoghurt blended with fresh/cooked fruit. The rest is formula/breastmilk. I am looking for third-meal ideas as he seems to be inhaling food at an amazing rate. I’m definitely going to try this out. Do you have any other suggestions?

  2. [...] Great blog for ideas on baby food with adaptations for allergy sensitive ingredients. We’ve made Zucchini Orzo Risotto, Orange Cardamom French Toast, Sesame Noodles, Edamame Hummus,  Sweet Potato Muffins w/ Cream [...]

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