Here’s a beautifully bright pasta dish to brighten up your day whatever the season. There’s something extraordinarily comforting about eating kritharaki (kριθαράκι) or orzo; it’s the luxe softness of it I think as well as its ability to soak up all your favourite flavours be they rich or light. This vibrant lemony herb-packed recipe is super quick to pull together so it’s a perfect one for busy weekday supper.
1 tbsp Kalamata extra-virgin olive oil
4 banana shallots, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
500ml good vegetable stock
225g Greek kritharaki (you can also use orzo)
2 lemons, two of them zested and one juiced
Handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Handful of dill, finely chopped
150g-200g Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
Handful of pine kernels, toasted
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground mixed peppercorns
How I make it
Prepare all your ingredients.
Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil, turn down the heat and fry the shallots until they are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two longer. Add the stock, bring to the boil and add the kritharaki. Cook until perfectly cooked but not mushy, this should take around ten minutes minutes. Stir occasionally to stop the grains sticking to the base of the pan and add a splash of hot water from the kettle if needed.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice from one of the lemons, the herbs, half of the cheese and the pine kernels. Season to your taste and garnish with the remaining lemon zest and cheese. Serve immediately alongside a beautiful citrusy green salad.
I sometimes crumble in 100g of feta cheese or add some wilted spinach leaves.