Oozy tomato orzo with roasted feta recipe
Orzo (tiny pasta shapes like grains of rice), cooked almost risotto-like, is a staple among Greeks and Cypriots – we call it kritharaki. It will often be served with anything from grated halloumi or feta (I like to roast it) to – when feeling more extravagant – buttery, garlicky king prawns.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Four to six
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp chilli flakes, optional
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
½ tsp caster sugar
200g block of feta
3 sprigs of oregano (or ½ tsp dried oregano)
2 tsp honey
70g wild rocket
Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a large saucepan and place on a medium-low heat. Add the finely chopped onion and garlic and sauté for 15 minutes.
Stir in the ground allspice and chilli flakes, then after a couple of minutes add the chopped tomatoes, stock, orzo and caster sugar. Season generously and bring to the boil over a high heat, then reduce to a simmer.
Cover the pan and cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile place the drained feta in a small ovenproof dish and score the top in a criss-cross pattern. Finely grate over the lemon zest and pick over the oregano leaves (or sprinkle with the dried oregano). Season and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Rub the flavourings into the feta and pop into the oven for 10 minutes, until starting to turn golden around the edges.
Drizzle with the honey and return to the oven for three-five minutes, until sticky and lightly golden.
When the orzo is ready, give it one final stir and leave on the hob, covered, for 10 minutes, before serving.
Dress the rocket with the lemon juice, a little oil and season and serve on the side of the orzo with the roasted feta crumbled over the top of everything.