Oozy tomato orzo with roasted feta recipe

therzo (small pasta shapes like rice grains), cooked almost like risotto, is a staple among Greeks and Cypriots – we call it kritharaki. It’s often served with anything from shredded halloumi or feta cheese (I love roasting it) to – when I’m feeling a little extra extravagant – butter and garlic king prawns.


Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


four to six


  • olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • Half a teaspoon of ground spices
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 x 400 g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 liter vegetable broth
  • 250 grams of barley
  • Half a teaspoon of fine sugar
  • 200gm feta cheese block
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 sprigs oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried oregano)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 70 grams ground rocket


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C. 6. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Add finely chopped onion and garlic and saute for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the ground allspice and ground chili flakes, then add the chopped tomatoes, broth, orzo and caster sugar after a few minutes. Season generously and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer.
  3. Cover the pan and cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Meanwhile, place the drained feta cheese in a small heatproof dish, and top with a cross shape. Finely grate the lemon peel and pick the oregano leaves (or sprinkle with dried oregano). Season and sprinkle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Rub the flavorings into the feta cheese and pop in the oven for 10 minutes, until they begin to turn golden around the edges.
  5. Sprinkle with honey and return to the oven for three to five minutes, until sticky and slightly golden.
  6. When the orzo is ready, stir it last and leave it on the stove, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. Brush the watercress with lemon juice and a little oil, season and serve on the orzo side with toasted crumbled feta cheese on top of everything.


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