Tomato Basil Orzo with Crispy Pastrami is an easy and delicious side dish that you can prep ahead!
This post is sponsored by Lieber’s Foods, and all opinions are 100% true and my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog and allow me to continue providing free recipes for you!
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With a whole ton of holiday meals coming up, I know you’re probably looking for menu inspiration. I recently took to Instagram to poll my followers and find out what type of recipes they’re looking for new inspiration on. The overwhelming majority of people were looking for new side dish ideas.
I totally get it. There’s an abundance of roast recipes out there. Everyone’s got some delicious soup recipes up their sleeve. But side dishes? There are the good ol’ standbys that everyone makes every time a holiday rolls around. But a side dish that’s easy, nice enough for a holiday, and can be prepped ahead? Those don’t come around every day, right? Well good news my friends! I’ve got just the side dish you’re looking for! Prep it a couple of days ahead of time (or even freeze it!) and you’re going to impress your family and guests. And the fact that it’s a one pot, super easy dish? We’ll keep that between us, shall we?
Before I go on, if you’re looking for additional menu inspiration, look no further than my recipe index! I’ve got over 500 totally free recipes, conveniently sorted by category.
Now, back to our recipe. I’m so excited to partner with Lieber’s Foods on this recipe, and introduce you to two of their new and exciting products. First up, we’ve got a squeezable tube of tomato paste. This super high quality tomato paste (seriously, taste it, you’ll understand) is not just delicious. It’s got one ingredient: tomatoes! Lieber’s also has a new line of infused extra virgin olive oils – it comes in Garlic Infused, Chili Infused, and Basil Infused. I used the basil infused oil for this recipe, but you can use the garlic infused oil as well! I love that Lieber’s is a dependable brand that makes high quality products that I use all the time in my kitchen. These two products provide the base flavor for my Tomato Basil Orzo. You can find them in your local kosher grocery store.
This recipe is deceptively easy because it comes together in one pot! Plus, you can dress it up for a yom tov meal with the crispy pastrami, or dress it down (and keep it parve!) for a weekday side dish by omitting it. Either way, I’m sure this is a dish you’ll be thrilled to add to your repertoire. Enjoy!
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- ¼ cup Lieber’s Basil Infused Estra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Spanish onion, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced OR 4 frozen garlic cubes
- 1 teaspoon Lieber’s dried basil
- 2 teaspoon Lieber’s dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon Lieber’s chili powder
- 3 Tablespoons Lieber’s Double Concentrated Tomato Paste (from squeeze tube)
- 1 box (1 lb) orzo, uncooked
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 2½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 (6 oz) package sliced pastrami, optional
- Heat Lieber’s Basil Infused Oil in a large, deep frying pan or medium pot over medium heat. Add onions and half of the salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened.
- Add garlic, basil, parsley, chili powder and Lieber’s Tomato Paste. Stir to combine then cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add orzo, broth and water. Raise heat to high. Cover pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until liquid has absorbed and orzo is softened.
- Turn off heat and leave pot/pan covered for 5-10 minutes, then uncover and fluff orzo with a fork. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. (Note that pastrami will add saltiness, so factor that in if adding extra salt.)
- Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Lay pastrami in a single layer on baking sheet.
- Broil for 3-4 minutes per side, until crispy.
- Cut pastrami into thin strips.
- Just before serving, stir pastrami into orzo, or place orzo in a large bowl with crispy pastrami in the center.
- Orzo can be prepared a day or two ahead of time and rewarded, coveted, until heated through. Do not stir pastrami into the orzo until just before serving or it will lose its crispness!
- While better fresh, orzo can be prepared ahead and frozen.
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Thanks for stopping by! I hope you try this delicious recipe! Have a great yom tov! Come back soon for more delicious food! – Miriam
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