Creamy Orzo with roasted Brinjals, Feta, Chicken and Ranch Dressing

Orzo Roasted Brinjals with Chicken Feta sauce

We all have our favourite go-to recipes that tick all the right boxes and honestly, just never seem to get old. But then you get those days where you feel like you just need to change it up a little, whether it might be trying a different starch, protein or veggie option.

I got struck by one of these moods last night. I was looking for something a little different to rice but still kind of the same… so I decided to try out Orzo pasta.

Definition Orzo: Italian: [ˈɔrdzo]; from Italian for ”barley”, from Latin hordeum), also known as risoni (pronounced [riˈzoːni]; ‘large [grains of] rice’), is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice.

We all know how important spice can be and how it can transform the simplest of dishes. As you all know by now, I’ve been trying to experiment with different spices, especially those that originate from Africa. Now, Five Spice Powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns which was a great choice for this dish.

Personally, I would serve this dish with all the components mixed together (it’s far more comforting – especially how everything gets coated with well… everything!) but if you’re having a fancier dinner then I would recommend slicing the chicken breast and place on the bed of roasted brinjals, orzo and feta. Just remember to keep some of the dressing aside and pour some over the chicken before serving. By the way, what I love about this dressing is that it is beautiful, hot or cold.

Creamy Orzo with roasted Brinjals, Feta, Chicken and Ranch Dressing

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 medium brinjals, large cubes
  • 1/2 cup of feta, packed loosely
  • 2 tsp five spice
  • 3 or 4 medium chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 250g orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp Worchester sauce
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp anchovy, minced
  • 1/3 cup of water

Directions

  1. Firstly, preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius. Dice the brinjals in large cubes (3cm x 3cm), place in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes until caramelized.
  2. Add the five-spice to a dry pan and roast for 1-2mins on medium-high heat. This activates the spice and ensures a deeper flavour profile.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cups of orzo to a pot of salted boiling water and stir once added. This ensures that the pasta doesn’t clump up. Cook for 5-7mins and drain. Add the cooked orzo pasta, roasted spices, 2 tbsp fresh parsley, and feta to the brinjal casserole and mix well. Turn the oven off and place the brinjal-orzo mixture in the oven (to stay warm) whilst you prepare the spices, ranch dressing and chicken breast. Cooked Orzo
  4. Cook the 3 chicken breast on med-high heat for 4mins on each side and place to one side to rest.
  5. Add the mayonnaise, greek yoghurt, 1 tbsp parsley, all the dill, all the chives, garlic clove, Worchester sauce, lemon juice, pepper, anchovies and water to a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. Remove the brinjal-orzo mixture from the oven (which has been off since Step #3) and incorporate the ranch dressing and chicken. Mix well and serve.
  7. You may wish to serve the chicken on the side, with the orzo-brinjal pasta and add the remaining dressing and feta over if you wish and not necessarily HAVE to incorporate all of it together before serving. You are after all the Chef of this beautiful dish! Brinjals Orzo Pasta Feta


Leave a Reply