Alma Mediterranea by Marcia Barrington

Recipes from the Mediterranean, Middle East & North Africa

Follow Marcia Barrington’s blog to discover new ways to enjoy fresh and exciting ingredients with her Mediterranean inspired recipes.

Roasted peppers with orzo, cherry tomatoes and olives

Roasted peppers with cherry tomatoes, orzo and olives

Red peppers with orzo, cherry tomatoes and olives. 

You might have seen from my instagram stories, that I bought the ingredients for this recipe outside my local tube station in North London. I do love a fruit and veg stall. It’s probably one of the reasons I started hosting Market Tours in Valencia. Piles of seasonal fruit and veg are irresistible to me.

So, on arriving home, I had a poke around in my dry store and spied half a bag of Greek orzo. Perfect. I decided to mix it with a couple of handfuls of the cherry tomatoes from my haul, a large serving spoon of MY OWN CURED OLIVES (more on that later in another post) lots of lemon zest, sheep’s feta, toasted pine nuts and some wilting herbs from the garden. This is easy summer cooking after all.

And if you need a side dish, a platter of green beans mixed with popped broad beans and a scattering of dill with crunchy salt and olive oil work a treat. 

Serves 4

4 red peppers 

250g/1 cup orzo pasta

300g cherry tomatoes, halved through the centre 

1 large serving spoon of kalamata olives 

Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons 

150g sheep’s feta

16 basil leaves chopped and mixed with 2tablespoons of olive oil 

50g toasted pine nuts 

Olive oil and flaky salt 

 Preheat the oven to 180c

Cook the orzo in a pan of slightly salted water for about six to eight minutes, depending on the type you have. When just cooked, drain the orzo and refresh under cold water. I generally do this in a sieve. Transfer to a mixing bowl. 

Cut the peppers in half lengthways and remove the stalk, membrane and seeds. Lay them flat on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast in the oven until the flesh feels soft and is beginning to char around the edges. This will probably take around thirty minutes but keep your eye on them. Allow to cool before you fill them.

Add the cherry tomatoes, lemon zest, olives and half of the feta to the cooked orzo. Taste for seasoning. The feta and the olives are strong in flavour, so don’t overdo it with the salt. Once you are happy with the seasoning, you can fill the peppers. I suggest filling the peppers on the baking sheet and then transferring to your serving platter. Lay the peppers and crumble over the remaining feta, scattering the pine nuts and chopped herbs in olive oil. 

 Oh yes, I also made a child friendly version without olives and used a spoonful of fresh pesto and some mozzarella to flavour the orzo and fill a pepper. So, win, win. Two recipes in one. My seven-year old hasn’t acquired a taste for olives… yet.

If you do fancy giving these a go, do share over on instagram using the hashtag #easymediterraneanrecipe  I’d love to hear from you!