Risotto is a popular rice-based dish in Japan, but orzo, also known as risoni, is a delicious alternative made from pasta that really brings out the taste of the greens. Although easy to make, it takes a little patience to gradually add the liquid and let it cook into the dish. This dish is wonderful when made with shungiku, chrysanthemum greens, but I usually mix in other greens because shungiku has a strong taste on its own that could quickly overpower the other ingredients. A 1/3 mix of shungiku with other leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, watercress, and/or arugula works well. I also like to mix in some mitsuba- Japanese parsley- which complements the taste of the dish. This orzo dish is also flavored with butter, fresh garlic, and cheese to create a sophisticated culinary experience.
Once the risoni is cooked through, I like to mix in some fresh grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and serve it while it is hot. When it cools it gets sticky so best not to wait.
Although this dish can be refrigerated and reheated, I recommend cooking just enough for your family or friends and serving this right out of the pan. Don’t worry about leftovers – this dish is so good that it’s unlikely you will have any.