One-Pan Orzo with Spinach & Feta

I mentioned before that I’ve been making NY Times recipes nonstop, and here’s another one. This is a one-pan side dish that couldn’t be easier and fulfills all my decadent Greek dreams.

Start by melting 2 tbsp butter in a skillet and then stirring in 3 chopped scallions and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook for a few minutes to get everything softened and then fold in 8 oz of fresh spinach (might need to do this in batches) and some salt. Once the spinach is wilted, stir in 1 3/4 c. chicken or vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Then stir in 1 c. orzo, the zest of a lemon, and some more salt. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the orzo is nearly cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 14 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in 3/4 c. (3 oz) crumbled feta, some frozen peas, and dill, cover the pan, and cook for another 1 minute. To serve, sprinkle with more cheese and some extra scallions.

I cut the recipe down and used dry dill instead of fresh but followed it otherwise. It came out so delicious. I think it helps to use fresh feta here – it will melt much better into the dish. I love how orzo absorbs pasta and sauce so it becomes risotto-like in texture…but even better because it’s pasta and pasta trumps all other starches. While the tang of feta isn’t normally everyone’s cup of tea, the way the other ingredients work together here, it becomes a real crowd pleaser. Serve with some roasted chicken or a good piece of fish and you’re set.