Pile this orzo pilaf onto your plate



Here is a light, vegetarian summer supper that will keep your kitchen cool — no need to turn on the oven — and requires very little cleanup.

This nutty pilaf is made with orzo (rice-shaped pasta) instead of rice. It’s full of vegetables and flavored with cumin and coriander.

Chopped almonds add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. It’s a one-pot meal that you’ll turn to again before summer’s over.

• Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: With this mild pasta dish I would serve a nice, friendly pinot grigio.

Nutty Pasta Pilaf

Makes 2 servings.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup sliced white onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup sliced carrots

1 cup sliced green bell pepper

3 teaspoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 cup drained, low-sodium diced tomatoes

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 pound orzo (scant 3/4 cup)

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup coarsely chopped, unsalted almonds

1 tomato, sliced

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 1 minute. Add garlic, celery, carrots and green bell pepper. Saute 3 minutes. Add cumin, coriander and cayenne; mix with the vegetables. Saute 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, peas, orzo and vegetable broth. Stir to combine ingredients. Lower heat to medium, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water if skillet becomes dry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Divide between two dinner plates and sprinkle chopped almonds on top. Serve sliced tomatoes on the side.

Per serving: 544 calories (35 percent from fat), 20.9 g fat (2.2 g saturated, 13.0 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 18.9 g protein, 76.2 g carbohydrates, 12.3 g fiber, 214 mg sodium.