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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Orzo with Chickpeas, Goat Cheese and Oregano

Occasionally I look to old issues of Bon Appetit magazine for dinner inspiration. This recipe is from the June 2008 issue. I’ve made this dish nearly a dozen times in the last year or so. It’s tasty, healthy, vegetarian, quick, easy, and made with inexpensive ingredients. I can’t recommend it enough!

Orzo with Chickpeas, Goat Cheese and Oregano
1 1/2 cups orzo (about 9 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 5-ounce log goat cheese, crumbled

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the orzo and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Add the chickpeas, orzo and oregano. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the goat cheese.

Olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic:


Fresh oregano mixed into the olive oil mixture:


The finished product:


Dessert! Organic dark sweet premium cherries from a local orchard here in Washington:




Notes:

• Don’t skimp on the oregano. It adds flavor to an otherwise simple dish. You could probably also add more freshly ground black pepper, or experiment with other herbs like basil, rosemary, or thyme.

• Sometimes all you can find in the grocery store is a 4 oz. container of goat cheese, so I typically use 4 ounces instead of a full 5. It’s plenty cheesy for my tastes, but your mileage may vary.

• I obviously mixed the olive oil in a small bowl (oops!). When it was time to add the orzo and chickpeas, I transferred everything to a larger bowl. Save yourself the trouble and extra dish washing and start with a large bowl.

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