Instead of buying a one-way ticket to the Mediterranean, I'm going to crank up our wood stove, play some upbeat music, and make the Mediterranean come to my kitchen. This winter weather has been getting us down, but the fresh flavors of feta, artichokes, and olives in this dish are brightening our spirits and making our taste buds very happy. We even invited a few friends over for dinner and everyone agreed that this dish was a real treat on a cold winter night.
This simple orzo dish is packed with fresh and zesty flavors, but still satisfies that need for "comfort" food in January. I love how cheesy and filling this main course is, and the bonus of a one-pot dish (less clean-up!) is always appreciated in our house. Pour a glass of wine and get cooking.
One-Pot Mediterranean Orzo Pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups orzo
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup feta cheese, plus additional for serving
1 cup marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped, plus additional for serving
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1 cup parsley, minced
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a high-sided 10-inch skillet or Dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and orzo, and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently (make sure the orzo doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan). Continue cooking until the orzo is al dente and suspended into a thick, creamy broth, 10 to 15 minutes (depending on your brand of orzo).
Add the feta cheese, artichokes, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and parsley, and stir until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve each dish with pine nuts and additional olives and feta cheese sprinkled on top.
- The olives and feta cheese can be pretty salty, so only add salt a little at a time and adjust to taste.