green-garlic orzo with roasted cauliflower

cauliweb.jpgLate Saturday night, Lisa and I were talking about the effects of our recent drastic increases in consumption of rich & yummy food. I love the decadence people allow themselves through the holidays, but I certainly can't eat that way every night. This is the sort of thing I make at the end of a long weekend of holiday eating to recover. (Sunday, in fact.) I think the simple orzo really picks up the delicate flavor of the green garlic, and the salty proscuitto is a nice contrast to the roasted cauliflower.

Serves 2.

1 small head cauliflower
6 stalks green garlic.
3/4 cup orzo pasta
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
stock (chicken, veggie, your choice.)
a bit of white wine
1/4 cup of shredded or diced hard, nutty cheese (I used capricious)
2 Tbsp pine nuts
4 slices proscuitto
salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Divide the cauliflower into florets (diameter size - something like a quarter). Toss them with the olive oil, salt & pepper, and put them in a dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Break up the teaspoon of butter, and dot the top of the cauliflower. Roast at 400F for about 25 minutes, or until the cauliflower has lost its bite and is golden brown on the tops and edges. You can toss it once in the middle if you like extra crispy edges.

Slice the green garlic into thin rounds. Put it in a small pot with a pat of butter (around a tablespoon) and a splash of water. Add a pinch of salt. Turn to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 8 minutes. You want the green garlic to stew into a melty mass, but not caramelize.

Toast the pinenuts for about 5 minutes in the oven, alongside the cauliflower.

When the garlic is soft, add the orzo. Stir to coat with butter, and then add a half a cup of wine (I used a bottle of champagne that was open) and a half a cup of stock. Add stock until the orzo is covered with about a half-inch of liquid. Raise heat, bring to a simmer, and return to medium heat. Cook until orzo is tender, adding stock and wine as necessary to keep the orzo wet. Stir occasionally, but gently. Add salt & freshly ground pepper to taste. If the cauliflower isn't ready yet, cover the orzo and reserve a bit of stock to moisten the pasta when you serve it. Just before serving, remoisten the pasta, and stir in the cheese.

To plate: place the pasta in the bottom of the bowl. Heap cauliflower on top. Tear the slices of proscuitto into ribbons; add them to the bowl. Sprinkle a few pine nuts over the top, and grind a bit of extra pepper over the whole thing.

Posted by shock on December 13, 2004 | TrackBack

I stole a bite of this and the cauliflower tasted amazing even in my sickly state.

Posted by: rsl on December 13, 2004 8:43 AM

As I read this recipe, I had no idea what green garlic was. I looked it up and apparently it is only available at specialty markets?

Is there any substitute recommended, maybe shallots?

Posted by: cindy on December 20, 2004 12:33 PM

Shallots or leeks would be nice - or even a slow-roasted regular garlic. They won't taste like green-garlic - but they'd be yummy. 8)

Posted by: meriko on January 3, 2005 11:11 AM
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