By Sarah Leah Chase

This “Good Dish” column initially appeared within the July 22, 2021 Inquirer and Mirror.

As earnestly as I attempt to whittle down my monumental cookbook assortment, I concurrently really feel the necessity to keep present with new cookbook releases, so the latter normally find yourself canceling out any enhancing dents I handle to make with the previous.

My newest buy, “Prepare dinner This E-book” (Clarkson Potter, 2021) by Molly Baz, was acquired as a result of I discovered myself coming throughout a whole lot of buzz about Baz, with whose title and work I used to be unfamiliar.

I shortly realized that she is a Los Angeles-based meals editor, recipe developer and frequent contributor to Bon Appétit journal. Within the e-book’s introduction, Baz explains that when she was in her 20s she thought that cooking from recipes was unprofessional and “extraordinarily un-cool.”

“Recipes have been for residence cooks, and I used to be properly on my strategy to turning into a chef . . . To depend on a recipe was to acknowledge how a lot I didn’t know,”  she mentioned.

This angle disappeared when 10 years later, Baz started working as a recipe developer and drastically modified her angle, as she found, “In fact, recipes are completely core to training. Recipes now course via my veins. I fall asleep fascinated about them, dream about them, often have evening terrors about them, and nearly at all times get up nonetheless fascinated about them.”

As somebody who does work similar to Baz, I completely agree along with her present stance heralding the need of recipes, and she or he does certainly have some terrific ones in her cookbook. I could need to admit to being old style, nonetheless, as a result of I’m discovering it tough to embrace any rationale for profanity-laced prose in a cookbook and the necessity to take out my mobile phone to scan these irritating squiggly QR codes with the intention to view movies of strategies utilized in a number of of the e-book’s recipes.

In actual fact, after perusing my manner via “Prepare dinner This E-book,” I ended up feeling as if not solely did Baz and I reside and work on totally different coasts, but in addition on totally different culinary planets.

For instance, Baz has a luxuriously-simple recipe for Orzo al Limone, however goes on to implore her readers “to throw me a bone” and make the recipe since she feels she personally has been combating an uphill battle to carry orzo again into style for the previous couple of years. All I can say is that Baz should not have any nice Greek girlfriends like I do on the East Coast, as a result of orzo is an important and staple ingredient (not one whose reputation goes out and in of vogue) for all who make up our fun-loving and fun-cooking circle.

A number of instances each summer season I make my very own recipe for Orzo with Roasted Farm Greens, because the bountiful dish feeds a crowd and is the proper salad accompaniment to serve with all types of grilled dinner fare or characteristic as a wholesome vegetable-packed luncheon salad. Feta cheese provides a creamy contrasting tang to the salad and toasted pignoli nuts mirror the form of orzo and in addition impart a decadent little bit of crunch. I’ve been making this orzo salad for not less than 20 years and may’t ever think about pondering the mixture will change into dated.

Likewise, I really feel Baz’s recipe for Orzo al Limone will take pleasure in the identical kind of longevity, although I do hope the recipe’s accompanying QR code meant to be scanned to instruct readers on how you can correctly chop an onion falls by the wayside.

Orzo al Limone

 Molly Baz says the inspiration for this recipe got here from the straightforward Italian pasta dish often called Spaghetti al Limone. Her contemporary take utilizing orzo “leads to a dish that’s someplace between risotto and macaroni and cheese, and it’s fairly particular,” she says. Baz formulates her recipes by dividing components into classes quite than itemizing them within the order they’re utilized in making the recipe.


1 medium yellow onion

1 lemon


5 tablespoons unsalted butter

2-1/2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving


1 cup orzo

Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Additional-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  1. Prep the aromatics: Finely chop the yellow onion. Utilizing a vegetable peeler, peel three three-inch-long strips of lemon zest from one lemon. Set the lemon apart.
  2. Begin the orzo: In a big Dutch oven or pot, warmth three tablespoons butter over medium warmth till melted and foamy. Add the onion and cook dinner, stirring usually, till softened however not but browned, 5 to seven minutes. Add the one cup orzo, three strips of lemon zest and 1 teaspoon black pepper, and toast, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add three cups of water and one teaspoon salt to the pot and convey to a simmer over medium warmth. As soon as the water involves a simmer, scale back warmth to medium-low and cook dinner, stirring often, so the orzo doesn’t stick with the underside of the pot, till many of the water has been absorbed (there ought to nonetheless be a little bit of liquid on the backside of the pot), six to eight minutes. Style the orzo. It needs to be al dente however not crunchy.
  4. Take away the pot from the warmth. Stir in two tablespoons butter and 2-1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) grated Parmesan cheese. Finely grate the remaining lemon zest into the pot. Lower the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from each halves via a strainer into the orzo. Style and add extra salt, as wanted. Add just a few extra tablespoons water, if wanted, till the orzo could be very creamy and unfastened.
  5. Drizzle the orzo with olive oil, and season with extra black pepper and garnish with extra grated Parmesan. Serve.

         Serves 4.

Orzo With Roasted Farm Greens


1 medium eggplant, peeled and reduce into 3/4-inch chunks

3 small zucchini or summer season squash or a mix of the 2, reduce into 3/4-inch chunks

2 purple bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and reduce into 3/4-inch cube

2 yellow peppers, stemmed, seeded and reduce into 3/4-inch cube

2 cloves garlic, minced

About 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper to style

1 pound orzo, cooked in line with bundle instructions and drained

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and minced

12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup contemporary mint leaves, reduce into skinny slivers

1/3 cup pine nuts, flippantly toasted

1/3 cup contemporary lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Toss the eggplant, squash, peppers and garlic collectively in a roasting pan. Drizzle with 1/3 cup of the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Roast the greens within the oven, stirring often, till comfortable and flippantly blistered, about 45 minutes.
  3. In a big mixing bowl, mix the cooked orzo with the roasted greens. Stir within the scallions, feta, mint and pine nuts. Costume the salad with the lemon juice and sufficient of the remaining olive oil to moisten completely. Style and modify seasonings to swimsuit. Switch to a horny serving bowl and serve barely heat or at room temperature.

         Serves 8 to 10.

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