Summer means the freshest of ingredients that are grown locally. There is nothing more comforting than broccoli, lemon, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Freshness and comfort. Yup. I'm in.
I love only having one dish to clean up at the end of the night. This meal takes only one pot and can be ready in 30 minutes.
The key to this dish is splurging on quality ingredients. Although the recipe calls for yellow onion or shallots, I most definitely recommend opting for the slightly sweeter notes of shallots. I also opted for organic orzo since it was on sale.
One thing I can't recommend enough is using organic garlic. During the winter months, garlic is often shipped from japan and is bleached to give it its perfectly white color. You want to look for garlic that has a purplish hue, or garlic labeled certified organic. I prefer local all day long.
4 tbsp butter - the recipe calls for unsalted but I just used salted because I had it on hand. I just added less salt when I was seasoning.
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced
5-6 regular garlic cloves, 2-3 organic
Red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/3 cup white wine - I used Les Jamelles because it pairs really nicely with this meal and you can enjoy a glass while you eat.
1/2 tsp lemon zest
The juice of half a lemon
1 1/2 cups of orzo pasta
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups of broccoli florets
For the parmesan breadcrumb topping...
We're going to start by toasting our bread crumbs.
In a deep pan or pot, heat up 1 tbsp of butter.
Once the pan is hot empty your breadcrumbs into the pan, stirring occasionally
Once the breadcrumbs are fragrant and toasted, remove from heat and place in a bowl.
Allow to cool completely before adding 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
For the orzo...
In the same pan you used to toast the breadcrumbs, heat 3 tbsp of butter.
Thinly slice your shallots and garlic and add them to the hot butter.
Cook on medium heat for approximately 5 minutes, or until a coating begins to appear on the bottom of the pan.
Add your salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste.
De-glaze the pan with your white wine.
Allow the wine to reduce for 1-2 minutes.
Add your vegetable broth, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add your orzo to the broth.
Once there are 5-6 minutes remaining on the cooking time of the orzo, add your broccoli florets.
Once the orzo is al dente and the florets are fork-tender, remove from heat.
Add lemon juice, and the remaining parmesan cheese. Stir.
Top with parmesan breadcrumb mixture and serve.