bean greens orzo

We had a big bag of power greens on hand, and bob was thinking legume vegetarian for a change.Why are meat, chicken, and fish always hogging the American cuisine protein slot? Beans will do the job, and we like beans. But somehow we don't have the bean habit. [Eventually more and more people will have to get the habit as climate change and water and energy shortages force us to grow food more efficiently, seeing as how dead animal flesh is a pretty inefficient food source.]

Searching the web for "orzo greens bean" to find some recipe with orzo and greens with white beans generated all these hits for orzo with green beans, which we did not want (not that we have anything against green beans which we also should use more often), so deleting "greens" from the search strings immediately produced a winner, a baked whole wheat orzo dish with greens (spinach), canellini (white) beans, and parmigiano, from a cute blog. Hence "bean greens orzo" and not "green beans orzo" (although the second occurence of "s" breaks the plural noun as adjective rule). Of course we have to change the name in a thinly vailed effort to present the recipe as our own, which is not very effective if we then quote the source in our notes. Food is supposed to be for sharing anyway, isn't that why foodies have blogs in the first place?

This was a team effort. bob started the prep with some small multicolored sweet peppers on hand, and a half red onion left over from pizza night. ani did the mushrooms, which she insists on peeling. ani took it from there, but bob dumped a bunch more greens into the pan after ani's 2 cup estimate had shrunk down.


1 c of whole wheat orzo pasta
2 T of olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 c of sliced mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 c of raw spinach (we used power greens, and maybe 5 cups since they shrink so much)
1 15-oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 c freshly grated parmigiano
fresh herbs for garnish, such as cilantro, parsley and basil (we had fresh parsley on hand)


  1.  Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Prep the veggies. We used our decades old V-slicer bought on the streets of Munich for the onion, though if ani had had her way she would have hand chopped this ingredient.
  3. Prepare the orzo according to the package instructions, boiling it for about 9 minutes (1-2 minutes less then instructed), leaving it slightly al dente since it will then be baked.
  4. Meanwhile heat a nonstick pan with the olive oil and then saute the onions and peppers first until softened (3-4 minutes), then add in the mushrooms for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the garlic and greens and cook down the greens.
  6. Then on low heat, add in the white beans to heat through a moment, and mix in the drained pasta, then remove from the heat and mix in half the cheese.
  7. Pour the mixture into your baking dish sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes, then if desired, broil for a couple minutes to make sure the cheese topping is at comfort food level.
  9. Remove and garnish with your choice of fresh herbs.


  1.  white bean and parmesan baked orzo from Jessica Merchant's blog how sweet it is. Very playful banter.
  2. The "plural noun as adjective rule": when a plural noun is used as an adjective, like "black holes theory" or "neutron stars evolution", the noun is made singular, so these mistaken phrases become more correctly:  "black hole theory" or "neutron star evolution", which our many Italian astrophysicist friends never learn when writing in English, and bob is forever making such corrections in a perpetual effort much like Sisyphus (a job never done).
  3. bob left this comment on the blog, posted 5 years earlier: "I only stumbled onto this recipe in January 2016, looking for a orzo and greens with beans recipe, but "orzo beans greens" hit all these green bean recipes and I wanted white beans, so removing the "greens" from the search window immediately found this recipe near the top of the list and it was exactly what I was searching for. Liked the fact that you use whole wheat orzo because we only use that kind of orzo (aiming for whole grains when we can), and we used power greens in place of the spinach and increased the amount since greens tend to shrink up to a small fraction of their initial volume, but otherwise we followed your recipe without being tempted by major modifications and loved the result. It did not hurt that you had such cute banter leading up to the actual recipe. Thanks for sharing."
  4. Illustrations available.
orzobeangreen.htm: 12-jan-2016 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]