Whole Wheat Orzo with Golden Beets and Feta Cheese

Having just come off a weekend of non-stop partying and revelry, I have been sort of desperate to detox these past few days.  I honestly didn’t know I could eat that much or, um, drink that much.  Oh my.  But what fun it was.  It was my husband’s birthday.  But not just any birthday…. This was the start of a new decade for him, so, of course, the partying had to be appropriately excessive.  Three. Straight. Nights.  It was awesome.

But there’s always hell to pay at the end of a weekend like that, and all I’ve wanted to eat are salads and fruit and drink gallons of water.  Oh, and eat this orzo.   What is it about beets?  They seem so grounded and sensible and centered.  Maybe it’s because they’re a root; they just know who they are and offer consistent solace in their delicious healthiness.  I like that.  Although they do show up at parties now and then, mostly we find them on our plate when our bodies crave nourishment and comfort.

And I must say that these golden beets were totally there for me this week.  Pairing them with the whole wheat orzo made for the perfect recovery food.  I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Typical of most dependable, loyal and earthy friends, this dish is not flashy or colorful.  It doesn’t photograph well, but prefers to hang out in the background.  I was able to coax it into the forefront in these photos, but it was totally uncomfortable being the star of this post.

Although the parties are over, I’m pretty happy about discovering a new friend this week.  But no need to wait until you’re desperate; this orzo is delicious and will make you feel great anytime.  Good friends are like that.

Whole Wheat Orzo with Golden Beets and Feta Cheese

Printable Recipe

Adapted from a recipe by Laurie Colwin
3-4 medium golden beets, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chicken broth
½ cup of red onion, minced
1 cup chopped beet greens
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (marjoram, parsley, oregano, etc.)
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 ½ cups whole wheat orzo
½ cup Greek Feta cheese for serving

Cook the orzo according to the package directions in salted water.

While the orzo is cooking, put beets and olive oil in large skillet. Sprinkle with salt and crushed red pepper flakes and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until just tender. Add onion and cook for another minute. Add broth and simmer until beets are very tender. Stir in the parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Stir the orzo into the beet mixture.   Taste for salt and pepper.  Crumble the feta cheese over the top and sprinkle with a few of the fresh herbs.