Orzo with Caramelised Onion, Walnuts and Harissa Butter

av La Kompott


Orzo with Caramelised Onion, Walnuts and Harissa Butter

Almost like a risotto, but with pasta! Orzo is extremely versatile, but this version with caramelised onion is one of my favourites (maybe because it tastes a bit like french onion soup). Here I`ve topped it with a spicy harissa butter, which works well with the sweet onion flavour. However just some chopped herbs and/or parmesan will also do the trick.


  • 250 g yellow onion
  • 3 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ dl dry white wine
  • 200 g orzo
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 handful parmesan
  • 1 handful walnuts
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 1 tbsp leaf parsley


  1. Finely slice onion and garlic. Heat up the olive oil in a large saucepan. Sweat the onion on low heat until it is soft and starts to brown. This will take about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and add a bit of water if the onion starts to burn! Add the garlic, some salt and pepper and let sweat a few minutes more.
  2. Stir in the sugar and lemon juice and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the white wine and let reduce completely.
  3. Stir in the orzo and a knob of butter. Add boiling water until it covers everything and let simmer while stirring until the orzo is soft. Add more water when needed, the same way as when making risotto.
  4. Stir in crème fraîche and parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Roughly chop the walnuts. Toast them in a hot pan until they start to colour. Decrease the heat before adding a little olive oil and a teaspoon of harissa (or as much as you like). Add about 3 tbsp of butter and let it melt before stirring in a tablespoon of chopped parsley.
  6. Add the orzo to plates andtop with the walnuts, harissa butter and more parmesan!