Hint: It pairs perfectly with grilled steak.

Elisabeth Sherman
June 22, 2018

This summer, you’ll probably be spending plenty of time by the grill cooking meat: burgers, steaks, pork chops—the kind of heavy dishes that go well with a light, vegetable-centric side. While you could go the boring route and boil some broccoli, Ina Garten has a much better idea: Try out her favorite side dish, orzo (a short pasta in the shape of a large grain of rice) with roasted vegetables.

Garten recently wrote on her blog that this is the side dish she’s cooked the most over the years. She calls it an “ all-in-one side” because it includes pasta, roasted vegetables, feta, and pine nuts, and it's topped with a lemon vinaigrette. Best of all, it’s versatile: You can serve it in winter alongside a rack of lamb, but in the summer it also pairs perfectly with grilled steak or chicken.

Helpfully, Garten shares her own recipe for the dish on her website, and it’s incredibly simple: All you have to do is toss your vegetables—eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic—in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Meanwhile, the orzo only takes about eight minutes to cook.

There are many more ways to play with orzo to create a satisfying summer salad. You can toss it with grilled corn and zucchini, or for a creamier take, you can bake orzo with goat cheese.

This pasta also tastes amazing with seafood. A fresh, light dish of orzo and scallops, topped with tomatoes and ginger would fit right in at your next dinner party, for example.

If you’re looking for a simple way to incorporate vegetables onto your plate, or if you’re looking to experiment with a versatile new pasta, trust Ina Garten: Orzo is the way to go.