I am boldly claiming this recipe as my own (though it is derived from a circa 1984 Gourmet recipe that my parents have made for the past 25 years) as I’ve tinkered with it over the years and made it my own. I only make it a few times a year because I don’t ever, ever want to tire of it, so I tend to break it out for special occasions—or for people I really like a lot. Like our friend Vincent, who is coming over tonight for burgers. He’s bringing the dessert, so watch for reports later in the week. But in the meantime, here’s a taste of orzo:
The Foodinista’s Orzo
1 1/2 cups orzo
3/4 cups spicy olive oil, divided
1 or 2 8-ounce packages frozen artichokes, thawed [UPDATE 5/29/10: YOU COULD ALSO SUB ONE OR TWO 13.75-OUNCE CANS WHOLE ARTICHOKES IN WATER, WHICH I THEN DRAIN AND QUARTER]
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, minced
3 ounces freshly grated pecorino
Fresh lemon juice, to taste
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced (including greens)
In a medium pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook orzo until al dente, 7 or 8 minutes. Cut heat and add artichokes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss orzo and artichokes in mixing bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add remaining 1/2 cup oil in a stream, whisking to emulsify.
Whisk in chopped basil. Pour over orzo and artichokes. Add prosciutto, Pecorino, parsley, green onions and toss. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (1-2 tablespoons) to taste. Add more salt. Always.