RICE, ORZO AND PINE-NUT "RISOTTO"
Thanks to Linda Baldwin for the inspiration for this simple "risotto." A quick and easy variation on the traditional procedure, this one's not just a labor saver. The beautiful thing about it is that the rice, the pine nuts and the orzo each contribute a different texture, resulting in a dish that -- I don't know a better way to put this -- is just plain *interesting* to chew.
I did it with broccoli, after the fashion of a broccoli-orzo side dish that we often make here, and it turned out just great.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons light butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large, heavy saucepan, and add 1 large garlic clove, finely minced, and a shake of dried red-pepper flakes. When the garlic starts to cook but before it begins to brown, add 1/3 cup pine nuts and cook until they start to brown. Then add 2/3 cup long-grain rice and 1/2 cup orzo, stirring briefly until the grains are coated with oil and a few start browning; then add 3 cups chicken broth; reduce heat to very low and cook, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rice and orzo are just cooked, lifting the lid and stirring frequently.
About 10 minutes before the rice and orzo are done, stir in enough broccoli florets and thin-sliced broccoli stems for two, about 2 cups of vegetables. Cover and continue cooking as before.
At the last minute, off heat, stir in 1 tablespoon grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and add salt to taste if necessary, although if the broth was salted, it probably won't be necessary.
This dinner went very well with a dry Sauvignon Blanc.