Once upon a time, in a land not far away, with a twist of a fork, two side dishes accidentally met on a plate. The first one, pasta, loved by all, orzo shaped, whimsical and a bit chewy, seasoned simply, and the second one, garbanzo beans, not as mainstream as pasta, a bit more serious but sweet at heart, were destined to meet. Although life has taken them on different routes, it was fate that eventually brought them together. Looking back, it all makes sense. These two individuals, separated side dishes, were made to be married into one bigger and better dish.
A few nights ago I prepared dinner of one main dish and 4 simple side dishes; grilled lamb, broiled and marinated eggplants, simple orzo, garbanzo beans, and thick Greek yogurt. It was all simple and good, and the best thing? We had leftovers, my favorite! So, the following day this is what we had for lunch. I placed the side dishes neatly side by side on my plate, and then, all of a sudden… in a spin of destiny, I uploaded orzo and garbanzos on my fork and ate them together in one single bite… There was love in the air. The sun came out of the clouds. The next thing that happened, unexpectedly, unplanned-edly… I had an “A-ha! No one moves” kind of moment and I ran to fetch my camera. I wanted to capture and share that happy moment with you, my friends, and the rest of the world.
The only sad thing to shed clouds on that joyful moment was the fact that we didn’t have any leftovers of the thick Greek yogurt I mixed the night before with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, chopped mint, a spray of lemon juice, salt, pepper. But other than that, I think I should just move the camera to be permanently placed in the kitchen because there were “A-ah! Oops, too late” kind of moments before, you know, like here, and here. You can never know when life will bring a sweet surprise that you would want to tell the whole world about, right?!
I can easily see how this couple, orzo and hummus, can make a lovely life for themselves together. Go places, have adventures, and create a family of little side dishes similar but different than they are. And when life together might become a bit boring, too much routine-like, they can spice things up. Because, when you have a good foundation together, the sky is the limit. You can always add tomatoes, red onion, feta, olives, nuts, fresh herbs, whatever, to a duo when they complete one another so well. (Wait, am I really talking about food here?) But first, you got to have that strong bond between two good ingredients that can do well on their own before they join forces together to create something that is more than the sum of its ingredients.
Do try this at home.
I don’t have an exact recipe but this was a no brainer to make, really.
For the orzo: Cook1/2 box of orzo pasta in salty water according to the instructions on the package. When it’s cooked al dente, drain, season with more salt and a little ground black pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and mix well, so the pasta don’t stick (It is sticks, it will make it harder to mix with the garbanzo beans. Just think about it…)
For the garbanzo beans: Drain the beans and rinse with cold water, and drain again. Sauté 2-3 tablespoons of finely chopped onion in a little extra virgin olive oil over medium heat until it softens. Add the beans, a pinch of salt, cumin and paprika, mix and cook until the beans are warm.
Marry orzo and garbanzo beans together.
Enjoy the party.