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Friday, November 11, 2011

Orzo with Garbanzo Beans, Red Onion, Basil and Mint


A perfect recipe for having the girls over for a casual lunch or dinner.  Rather then opening a can of garbanzo beans, I opted to pressure cook dried beans.  The difference is amazing – give it a try.

Orzo with Garbanzo Beans, Red Onion, Basil and Mint
from Giada's Family Dinners
by Giada De Laurentiis
adapted

4  cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
1½  cups orzo
1  (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed or see below for pressure recipe
1½  cups organic grape tomatoes, halved
¾  cup finely chopped red onion
½  cup chopped fresh basil
¼  cup chopped fresh mint
¾  cup red wine vinaigrette
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

~ bring the broth to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat
~ stir in the orzo
~ cover partially and cook, stirring frequently, until the orzo is tender but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes
~ drain the orzo through a strainer
~ transfer the orzo to a large, wide bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly
~ set aside to cool completely
~ toss the orzo with the beans, tomatoes, onion, basil, mint, and enough vinaigrette to coat; you may not need all ¾ cup
~ season the salad to taste with salt and pepper, and serve at room temperature

Pressure Cooked Garbanzo Beans

1 cup dried garbanzo beans
4 cups water
1t vegetable oil

~ add all ingredients to pressure cooker
~ secure lid and bring to high pressure
~ cook 30 to 40 minutes
~ quick release by putting cooker into sink and cool with cold water

Yes Christie, the pressure cooked garbanzo beans have a totally different flavor and texture.  They are firm and have more of a crunch but not really a crunch - they are not mushy and the flavor is not obstructed with the can salted preservative sauce.  I now try to pressure cook all of my beans.  Little time and amazing results in fact if you are a fan of Top Chef you are familiar with Michael Voltaggio, he is recently said, “I’m obsessed. I’m cooking all my sauces in it, I’m cooking seeds and nuts, pretty much anything I can put in there. You get such clean flavor so fast.”  Try it you'll like it...

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