Custardy Baked Orzo with Spinach, Bacon and Feta

DSC02051Last Sunday I made this Greek-inspired baked egg dish with orzo, leeks and bacon for breakfast. It was filling and creamy with wonderful flavor from the leeks and bacon. The dish required a little more effort than I usually like to output on Sunday mornings—to cook the orzo, fry the bacon, and slice the leeks. Then, of course, there was the waiting game—45 minutes of I can smell it, but it’s not quite ready and I’m really quite hungry now torture. But once it was finished, I snuggled in at the kitchen table in my pajamas and started Sunday right—with my cup of coffee, newspaper, and a generous serving of custardy baked orzo with spinach, bacon and feta.

Custardy Baked Orzo with Spinach, Bacon and Feta (From Food & Wine, February 2013; makes 6 servings) 

1 cup orzo
12 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 pounds leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
10 ounces baby spinach
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper
4 large eggs
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.

In a large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned, 8 minutes. Add the leeks and cook until tender, 8 minutes. Add the leek mixture to the orzo, leaving 1 tablespoon of fat in the skillet. Add the spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted; transfer to a colander and press out the excess liquid. Add the spinach to the orzo, fold in the feta and season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the yogurt and milk, season with pepper and stir into the orzo. Scrape the mixture into an oiled 12-by-8-inch baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, until the eggs are set and the top is browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.DSC02054

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