Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes

My vegetable garden got off to a late start this year because I was in India during the spring when I’d have normally started working on it. As a result, it is only in the past couple of weeks that I have been able to start picking some deliciously ripe cherry tomatoes from my plants (the ones that the squirrels and birds miss, that is).
Orzo with basil and cherry tomatoes, vegan Growing cherry tomatoes is gratifying because the plants produce so much fruit. I take a cupful of these grape-sweet beauties to eat with my lunch almost every day now. And I am always trying to find ways to add them to the recipes I cook.

Last night, with not much time left on hand after walking the dogs and running a couple of errands, I debated between ordering out and throwing something together that would take me less than half an hour. Eating in won, and that was because I knew I had on hand some orzo pasta and a basketful of just-picked cherry tomatoes that could be rustled together into a tasty and nutritious meal.

Orzo is one of Desi’s favorite pastas, because, I suspect, it looks a lot like rice which is his favorite food in the world. It is also quick-cooking because of its tiny size — a boon for the busy cook.

The pasta sauce is extra simple but also extra flavorful: extra virgin olive oil, tons of garlic and pepper. The cherry tomatoes and a handful of fresh basil, also from my garden, provide even more flavor and freshness.
fresh cherry tomatoes I had on hand some vegan mozzarella from Vegan Gourmet that I picked up last week. It was so creamy and delicious, I had to read the label again to make sure they hadn’t sneaked in the real thing on me. Since basil, tomatoes and mozzarella are a match made in tastebud heaven, I diced up the mozzarella and added it to the pasta.

I’ve basically already given you the recipe above, but let me go through it step by step. Trust me, if you try it, you’ll be hooked.

Garlicky Orzo With Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 pound orzo

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp ground black pepper

8-10 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved

A couple of handfuls of fresh basil leaves, cut into strips or just torn by hand

About half of an 8-oz package of vegan mozzarella cheese, cubed (add more if you like!)

Salt to taste

Cook the orzo al dente according to package instructions and drain.

Heat the olive oil in a wide saucepan.

Add the garlic slices and stir for about a minute until they are just very lightly brown. Do not burn them!

Add the black pepper and stir for a few seconds, then add the orzo. Stir it well to coat with the flavored oil.

Turn off the heat and add the cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Salt to taste. Toss and serve immediately!

It’s as simple as that.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

9 thoughts on “Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Cham

    September 6, 2008 at 5:26am

    U got a nice crop Vaishu, The color and juicy fruit is very pretty with orzo :)

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Mihl

    September 6, 2008 at 9:03am

    The orzo and the cherry tomatoes look so good together. How nice that you could use your own tomatoes.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Rachel

    September 6, 2008 at 9:56am

    The pic of the tomatoes is so beautiful!

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Spices N Aroma

    September 6, 2008 at 5:22pm

    Hi Vaishu This is my first visit to your blog… Orza and cherry tomatoes nice combo…gr8 pics too…

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Gini

    September 6, 2008 at 6:26pm

    Agree with cherry tomatoes producing a lot of fruit. I love popping them in my mouth as it is.

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Uma

    September 6, 2008 at 11:20pm

    wow, look at those beauties. I love cherry tomatoes. Orzo looks so mouth-watering. A tempting picture.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Divya

    September 7, 2008 at 1:17am

    Love Orzo… esp the whole wheat one. This looks awesome.

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Bhawana

    September 7, 2008 at 1:06pm

    wow Vaishali looks is sooo tempting dear. added to my favourites will try soon. Have to buy orzo. nice one.

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