Orzo Pasta with Broccoli, Shiitakes, Basil and Olives

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 ½ cup sliced shiitake caps
  • 1 ½ cups orzo
  • 1 large ripe tomato, chopped or 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 20 Kalamata pitted olives, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Sauté the shallots in 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet until softened.  Add the broccoli florets, garlic and shiitakes.  Cook for one minute over medium heat, stirring.  Add 2/3 cup water and continue to cook at a slow simmer until broccoli is softened a bit and most of the water has evaporated.  Place this mixture in a large bowl.  Meanwhile, cook the orzo in plenty of rapidly boiling salted water until it is just cooked without becoming too soft- “al dente”.  Drain well and keep hot.  Add the tomatoes, olives, basil, and remaining olive oil to the broccoli in bowl.  Add orzo and combine.  Stir in the lemon juice and zest, add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm.