I love cooking with different ingredient and this weeks ingredient is Jerusalem Artichoke. An excellent prebiotic (feeds your gut microbes as well as you!), it's also super versatile. Whilst only using as garnish on this quick and easy lunch it adds a lovely crunch.
Orzo is a great alternative to rice and this dish is a pasta version of a risotto I also cook. For this dish I have cooked the orzo with an organic stock cube but thats not necessary if you prefer to do it without, it just gives a greater depth of flavour, similar to if cooking a risotto.
I have used fennel instead of onion which you may have tried before. Fennel loses its aniseed taste when cooked and is a surprisingly good alternative to onion. I use it in my tomato based sauces sometimes too.
Fennel bulb chopped
Garlic 1 bulb crushed
Splash of olive oil
Veggie stock cube
Small handful of fresh thyme
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 Jerusalem Artichoke peeled and sliced in thin rounds (optional)
Heat a large pan of water and add the veggie stock cube when boiling before adding the orzo. Cook according to instructions on pack but around 12 mins.
Place the rounds of Jerusalem artichoke on a baking tray and drizzle a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop into oven at 180C for 8 mins or until crispy.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, add the diced fennel to olive oil heated in a frying pan. Fry for 2-3 mins over moderate heat. Add chopped garlic and continue to fry for 30 seconds, careful not to burn the garlic.
Chop the hard ends off the asparagus and chop into 2-3cm lengths. Add the asparagus and the thyme to the fennel and garlic and cook for a further 8-10 mins or until the asparagus is tender but not too soft.
Drain the pasta and add a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent it sticking
Toss the asparagus mix into the pasta and mix well before adding salt and pepper. Add the parmesan shavings and drizzle a the balsamic vinegar before garnishing with the roasted artichoke.
Enjoy with a crispy salad and glass of your favourite wine!
Calories per serving 450