Roast tomato and bay orzo

September 3, 2020
Family Verdict:


For 2:

200g orzo

400ml vegetable stock

400g cherry tomatoes on the vine, halved (save the vines)

1⁄2 red onion, very finely chopped

2 bay leaves

Freshly ground black pepper (lots, preferably cracked in a mortar rather than ground)

2 teaspoons sea salt, divided

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

A good handful of fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C Fan. Mix the orzo with the vegetable stock in a deep roasting pan and lay the tomato vines over the top. (The tomato flavour will infuse into the stock.)

Arrange the cherry tomatoes in an even layer over the orzo, then scatter with the red onion, bay leaves, plenty of black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt. Transfer to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes. I actually added another 3 minutes here as there was too much liquid left initially

As soon as the orzo is cooked (the pasta should be just al dente), remove the vines and stir in the extra-virgin olive oil, the remaining 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and the herbs. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed, and add a little dash more of stock, if you like.

Serve immediately.


OK so this is a new one - taken from a book of one pan recipes (called The Green Roasting Tin) which the Current Boyfriend of the Eldest Girl brought to the house recently. It looked like an interesting book, but I did not specifically clock this recipe at the time - it popped up on someone's Insta feed and I recognised the book, so asked for the recipe. The book is in that slightly breathless MOB kitchen kind of Ouevre where everything is New and Thought Of for the First Time, where of course much of it isn't.

I had a bunch of cherry tomatoes in stock (some home grown from seeds taken out of fruit I had in the fridge earlier in the year) and so I thought to give it a go. It includes the stage of cooking some of the tomato plant with the tomatoes as a flavouring - not something I had come across before - and I don't know if it was this or something else in the recipe, but the dish at the end smelled intensely of tomatoes and tasted really beautiful. Capturing that combination ofsour and sweet which is IMO the essence of the best summer fruit.

So a simple, cheap recipe which I would definitely do again. The recipe quantities are, unusually for 2 people and as it was Me and the Boy for supper it wasa test of quantities - and it was just right. Try it, I think you will like it.

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