You may be asking yourself, “What is a leek?” Well, don’t worry, I was wondering the same thing when I first found this recipe in the Cooking Light magazine. But, I love orzo pasta so wanted to give it a try.
Of course, I had to look up a leek online to see what it looks like so I would know what to look for in the store. And I searched for how to chop a leek because I wasn’t even sure which part of the vegetable we should be eating.
But, that’s also why I like to try new recipes. I get to try new foods that I would have never picked up in the store and learn how to use them. Leeks look similar to green onions but they are much bigger.
To cook the leek, you’ll want to cut off the roots at the bottom (which can be planted to grow your own leeks) and also cut off the dark green leafy tops. Very few recipes call for the tops because they are very tough. I saved them in my freezer bag to use next time I make homemade vegetable broth, which is about the only thing they are good for.
Once you have the edible portion of the leek, you’ll want to make sure you clean it thoroughly. Since this recipe uses chopped leeks, it’s easiest to go ahead and chop the leeks then run them under water in a strainer to clean off any dirt.
The original recipe calls for chicken broth, but I wanted to make mine vegetarian-friendly so decided to use vegetable broth instead. Plus, I had a lot left from making my own a few days before, so it was a good way to use that up as well.
Step by Step
Meanwhile, chop and clean the leek as described above and chop the yellow onion. Heat two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and leeks and saute for about 10 minutes.
Add the orzo to the pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, to toast the orzo.
Add the wine (being careful if you are working on a gas stovetop) and cook for another minute or two until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Pour in 2/3 cup of the warm vegetable broth and cook for a few minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
Continue to add the broth, 2/3 cup at a time, making sure that it’s almost completely absorbed before adding more. Stir occasionally as you add the broth.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley, chives, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
In a large skillet, over medium heat, warm one tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the pan. Crack the eggs into the pan and cook for about two minutes, then cover the pan and cook for another 2-5 minutes, until the egg is cooked to your liking. Since Justin and I like our eggs done differently (I can’t stand a runny yolk) I used a small pan and cooked the eggs individually.
Finally, serve the meal by dividing the orzo mixture into four serving bowl, top each with a cooked egg, and garnish with seasonings, cheese, and lemon zest.
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Leek Orzo with Fried Eggs
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 leeks
- 2 cup orzo
- 1/3 cup white cooking wine
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 2 tbsp chives
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, warm the vegetable broth and water, stirring occasionally to keep warm
- In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the butter and 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Clean and chop the leeks and onion then add to the skillet
- Saute the leek and onion for about 10 minutes
- Add the orzo and toast the pasta for a few minutes, stirring occasionally
- Carefully pour in the white cooking wine and stir until most of the liquid evaporates
- Pour in 2/3 cup of the warm broth mixture and stir until it is absorbed
- Continue adding 2/3 cup of broth, stirring until absorbed, until all of the broth is used
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley, 1 tbsp chives, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper
- Heat another skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil and swirl to coat the pan
- Crack the eggs into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes
- Cover and cook another 3-10 minutes, depending on the desired doneness of the eggs
- Divide the orzo into four serving dishes and top each with an egg and remaining seasonings and cheese