Serve it hot or cold, this orzo pasta salad with lemon, garlic and thyme mushrooms is a big hit. Simple, delicious flavours and a recipe that takes just 15 mins & 9 ingredients. Think about the basic salmoriglio sauce and then elevate it to this brilliant dish with the addition of mushrooms and thyme.
The light seasoning with garlic, thyme, lemon, parsley, salt, and pepper is just perfect. I like the garlic-y taste so I chop them very fine but if you want to tone down the garlic a bit, just add them whole. I also love the textures of this dish — very smooth, both the orzo and the mushrooms. With each bite, I was literally not chewing it immediately, but savouring it. So smooth and so delicious.
Orzo pasta (or rice pasta as I sometimes call it!) is great for pasta dishes without a sauce. It is small and so doesn’t really occupy the bulk of the dish and because it is small each bite has enough of both orzo and vegetables.
Mushrooms were an acquired taste for me. It took my dad to cook many many dishes, multiple number of times till I started eating mushrooms. For me, the set combination was always mushrooms and garlic. With a little seasoning, mushroom and garlic made for a quick and delicious mushroom sauté. And when I added lemon juice to it! a-maaazzzing! Before I started, I wasn’t too sure how mushrooms will taste with lemon juice but I had to try. The recipe started as an experiment and now proudly sits amongst my easy and quick pasta dinner recipes.
Did you know:
Mushrooms belong to neither plant kingdom nor animal kingdom. They have their own mushroom kingdom! They are really special with great health benefits.
Health benefits of Mushrooms
One of few plant-based sources of Vitamin-D. Super low in calories (1 cup mushroom has 10 calories!), fat-free, cholesterol-free and rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals; it definitely is time to make room for some mushrooms in your diet!
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- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup orzo pasta
- 1 cup chestnut mushrooms thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- 4 cloves garlic small; smashed, peeled and chopped
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves stripped off
- 1 bunch fresh parsley chopped
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring 4 cups water to boil
Add 1 tsp olive oil and salt to the water. Throw in the orzo pasta to cook until al dente. Takes about 8-10 mins.
On the side, heat olive oil in a flat pan, on medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute.
Add the sliced mushroom, sprinkle some salt and sauté till the mushrooms start to sweat. About 5 mins.
Remove from heat, add fresh thyme leaves, lemon juice and zest. Toss together.
Drain the cooked pasta (retaining some of the water) and add to the lemony mushrooms. Add in chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper and gently toss.
Enjoy hot and bonus… it tastes great cold as well!
Stays well in refrigerator for a day. Can be served hot or as a cold salad in summers.
Original recipe inspiration from the book Nigella Express.
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