Orzo pasta with goat’s cheese and gremolata

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This is actually my first encounter with orzo, the rice-shaped pasta, but definitely not the last. I like the texture and flavours of the creamy goat’s cheese contrasting the zesty punchy gremolata is fantastic. Recipe courtesy of Swedish food blog Matrepubliken.

I only made one change to the recipe, and that was to swap chèvre for softer goat’s cheese as I am not a fan of the rind on the chèvre.

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Orzo with goat’s cheese and gremolata, serves 4

2 finely chopped shallots

800 ml chicken or vegetable stock 

400 ml orzo pasta

100 g chèvre or soft goat’s cheese, in chunks

salt and pepper

Gremolata:

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped 

100 ml olive oil 

2 tbsp grated lemon zest

2 garlic cloves, pressed 

salt and pepper

Mix the ingredients for the gremolata and set aside. Fry the shallots in 1 tbsp butter without browning. Add the orzo and half the stock. Cook on low heat while stirring continuously (like when making risotto). Add more stock bit by bit. Once cooked add some butter, salt and pepper. Stir in the goat’s cheese. Plate and serve with a dollop of gremolata.  

Potluck lunch and caramelized garlic tart

On Sunday a bunch of us were invited to Jess and Chris for a potluck lunch and some board games. A perfect Sunday activity!

The hos and hostess had made a lovely coucous salad with feta and also contributed with nice breads. Ben had made a hearty casserole (more like a hash really) with potatioes, sausage and onions and Tom had made a chicken liver paté which was really nice. David and Debbie brought hams and salamis, and some brought wine.

I contributed with marinaded pork fillet and a caramelized garlic tart I have had my eye on for quite a while.

Jess had also made a dessert, that looked like a trifle but was brownies and meringues covered with cream and creme fraiche. Lovely! And Felicity made a gluten free crumble with a crunchy top. Yum!

I must say it was a really good spread and such fun when everyone contributes!

The tart I made is courtesy of Ottolenghi and it features (of course) in my favourite cookbook Plenty.

It is easy to make as you use ready made puff pastry and it has apart from the obvious caramelized garlic also two types of goat’s cheese in it. I used a mild creamy one but instead of the hard goat’s cheese I used Ossau-Iraty, made of ewe’s milk instead. It worked really well, and the tart was exactly so good as I expected it to be. I will definitely make it again, and I think you should all try it too. It does not disappoint.

Caramelized garlic tarte, serves 6

375 g puff pastry

3 heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vingear (I used double)

220 ml water

3/4 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp chopped rosemary

1 tsp chopped thyme

120 g mild and creamy goat’s cheese

120 g hard goat’s cheese (I used Ossau-Iraty instead)

2 eggs

100 ml double cream

100 ml creme fraiche

Preheat the oven to 180C. Roll out the puff pastry and cover the bottom and sides of a quiche dish with it. Put parchment paper and ceramic beads on top and blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove and bake until golden brown for another 15 minutes or so. Turn the oven down to 160C.

While the puff is baking, place the garlic in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and add the garlic back to the pan and add the olive oil too. Fry for about 2 minutes, then add the water and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes, then add the sugar and herbs and cook for another 10 minutes or until the liquid is dark and syrupy.

Assemble the tart by shredding the cheese into the pastry case, then add the garlic and the syrup and distribute. Combine eggs, cream and creme fraiche, salt and pepper and pour it into the pastry case. Bale for about 40 minutes in 160C or until the filling is set and the tart is golden brown. Serve warm or lukewarm. Reheats well.