Chef Joel & Jenn: Creamy Zucchini Orzo

Last week I posted a recap of our first of two Plated.com recipes that we were trying out for our box. That was recap was for the Sticky Japanese Wings with Zucchini Chips. We liked the meal but weren't in love with. That was alright we were far more excited for the second meal, the Creamy Zucchini Orzo. I had never had or cooked Orzo before but from what I read it was similar in taste and texture to Risotto which I love. 

Sadly the Creamy Zucchini Orzo meal turned out to be worse then the Sticky Japanese Wings. Similar to all of our Plated meals before, this one had at least 45 minutes of prep. A lot of chopping/dicing/ and preparing before even cooking. Then you had the Orzo prep which required constant stirring and attention.

After around an hour we had our Creamy Zucchini Orzo which looked stunning. This was easily one of the best looking meals we've ever made.

Sadly it was my least favorite. I took a couple of bites and new that this was far to healthy. Jenn actually liked the meal on the whole but we were both starving when we finished eating. There's only so much of this type of dish that you can have without it starting to become boring. So Jenn ended up popping some popcorn and I walked over to Togo's and got a turkey sandwich. 

And so our first two meals on Plated after a six month hiatus didn't turn out. We have two more meals coming this week so we will cross our fingers that these turn out better. 


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8 ounces zucchini
  • 1 lemon, divided
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 6 ounces heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 cup orzo
  • ⅓ cup grated pecorino cheese
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

DIRECTIONS

  • Rinse all produce. Mince garlic. Using the large holes of a box grater, shred zucchini; alternatively, finely chop. Zest lemon, then halve. Strip thyme leaves, discarding stems. Halve tomatoes. Peel shallot and mince.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic and orzo. Toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • When orzo is fragrant, add 2½ cups of water and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently, until almost tender, 10-11 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and shallot to pot with orzo and stir to combine. Cook until tomatoes are bursting, shallot is softened, and orzo is tender, 3-4 minutes.
  • Add zucchini, lemon zest, juice of ½ lemon, thyme, and 1 tablespoon olive oil to pot with orzo and stir to combine. Cook until zucchini is softened and warmed through, 1-2 minutes. Remove pot from heat, add pecorino and goat cheese, and stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Use remaining lemon to brighten a glass of water.
  • Divide orzo evenly between 2 bowls. Serve warm.

Recipe Source: Plated