I first used Orzo about 5 years ago, it really is very nice indeed, and a pleasant change from the norm. Sometimes called ‘birds tongue pasta’, (as it does resemble the real thing), it not only cooks very quickly, but it’s great in pasta bakes, salads and even soups.
Here it works very well with chilli, parsley and a touch of mayonnaise as a cold starter.
Place a pan of cold water on the stove, add a little salt and bring to a rapid boil. Add the orzo and boil rapidly until they are cooked but not overcooked, drain well and refresh under cold water.
Heat the oil in a saucepan add the shallots, red chilli, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
When soft add the parsley and stir until slightly wilted, add a little salt and pepper.
Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Spoon into a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise, just enough to bind everything together, you can omit the mayonnaise completely if you want to, and just use a little dressing or olive oil.
The secret is to keep all the colours as fresh and as bright as possible. Keep covered and at room temperature.
Stir the cooked orzo into the chilli mixture and stir well.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, and cook the nettle bread on both sides until lightly browned, don’t bother about the bread being fully browned, just slightly coloured.
To serve, cut the slices of bread in two, and pile on the orzo mixture, serve at room
temperature, with a squeeze of lemon.