Dinner in Minutes

Pile this orzo pilaf onto your plate

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Vegetarian times: </span>Use orzo to make this nutty pasta pilaf, an easy one-pot meal.
Vegetarian times: Use orzo to make this nutty pasta pilaf, an easy one-pot meal.

Main Dish

Nutty Pasta Pilaf

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup sliced white onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup sliced carrots

1 cup sliced green bell pepper

3 teaspoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 cup drained, low-sodium diced tomatoes

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 pound orzo (scant 3/4 cup)

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup coarsely chopped, unsalted almonds

1 tomato, sliced

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 1 minute. Add garlic, celery, carrots and green bell pepper. Saute 3 minutes. Add cumin, coriander and cayenne; mix with the vegetables. Saute 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, peas, orzo and vegetable broth. Stir to combine ingredients. Lower heat to medium, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water if skillet becomes dry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide between two dinner plates and sprinkle chopped almonds on top. Serve sliced tomatoes on the side. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 544 calories (35 percent from fat), 20.9 g fat (2.2 g saturated, 13.0 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 18.9 g protein, 76.2 g carbohydrates, 12.3 g fiber, 214 mg sodium.


Here is a light, vegetarian summer supper that will keep your kitchen cool — no need to turn on the oven — and requires very little cleanup.

This nutty pilaf is made with orzo (rice-shaped pasta) instead of rice. It’s full of vegetables and flavored with cumin and coriander.

Chopped almonds add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. It’s a one-pot meal that you’ll turn to again before summer’s over.

Helpful Hints

• Slice the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a slicing blade.

• Make the pilaf.

• Chop the almonds using the same food processor bowl used for the vegetables. No need to wash the bowl first.


• Prepare all ingredients.

• Make the recipe.


Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: With this mild pasta dish I would serve a nice, friendly pinot grigio.

Shopping List

To buy: 1 bunch celery, 1 package sliced carrots, 1 green bell pepper, 1 tomato, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 bottle ground cayenne pepper, 1 bottle ground coriander, 1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes, 1 package frozen peas, 1 container low-sodium vegetable broth, 1 package orzo and 1 package unsalted whole almonds.

Staples: Olive oil, minced garlic, onion, salt and black peppercorns.

Find more of Linda Gassenheimer’s recipes on her website, dinnerinminutes.com, and on Twitter, @lgassenheimer.

Read more Dinner In Minutes stories from the Miami Herald

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