Orzo with harissa and halloumi

I thought it was time to blog about another of my ‘mum’s yums’! This is one I came up with recently when I had some veggies and harissa paste leftover in the fridge. I love orzo as an alternative to pasta or rice (it is like a blend of the two!)

This easy recipe needs:

  • Orzo pasta (1 cup makes roughly enough for 4 people)
  • 250g halloumi
  • 1 tablespoon rose harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • A knob of butter
  • Mixed veggies for roasting (I used a red onion, a green pepper and mushrooms)
  • Chorizo slices if you wish to make a meat version

Heat your oven to around 180’C and heat the oil in a large roasting tin.

Meanwhile, chop up any roasting-friendly veggies you can find. Squash or sweet potato would work well or make it more ‘earthy’ with courgettes and mushrooms. Also chop the halloumi into chunks and slice up chorizo (if using).

Mix the veggies, meat and halloumi with the hot oil and roast for 15 minutes.

Add the harissa paste to the veggies and stir in. Then roast for a further 15 minutes.

While roasting the veg, melt your butter in a saucepan and add the dry orzo for around 4 minutes. Then add boiling water and pop on the lid. Simmer for around 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

*Orzo is very similar to rice – you need a ratio of 1:2 (1 cup of orzo to 2 cups of water)

Once your orzo is cooked al dente, stir it through the spicy veggies and halloumi and you’re ready to serve!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

My lockdown ‘whatever you have’ pasta

In a bid to avoid going to the shops as much as possible, my husband and I have been getting inventive in the kitchen.

Something I have had particular success with is my pasta dishes. I love pasta and could eat it with anything but I’ve found it particularly delicious lately when mixed with roasted veg with just olive oil, the juices from the veg and a ladle of pasta water as the sauce (a great solution when pasta sauces and chopped tomatoes have flown off the shelves in supermarkets).

As a self-confessed ‘flexitarian’, I mostly cook vegetarian meals and my ‘lockdown pasta’ has so far always been vegetarian (and would be vegan with the removal of the halloumi).

Here is a basic recipe for you. Vary the quantities for yourself depending on your family size:

  1. Preheat your oven to around 180 degrees c or gas mark 6/7
  2. Chop whatever veg you have into large chunks and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil in a roasting dish – I have had success with red onion, shallots, aubergine, chestnut mushrooms, mixed peppers and cherry tomatoes though any combination of these or other veggies would work just as well. I also add halloumi. I never used to roast it but wow I love it even more now that I do. It gives the cheese the texture of chicken without the chewiness!
  3. Roast the veg for around 30 minutes, stirring half way through
  4. Boil a pan of pasta in salted water
  5. When ready to serve, add salt, pepper and oregano to the roasting dish then drain the pasta reserving a ladle of pasta water to pour into the roasting dish
  6. Stir the pasta in with the veggies and serve!

I hope you find this recipe as easy (so newborn-mum friendly!) and delicious as I do!
Feel free to comment below if you have tried it out and any changes you made!