29 September 2009

Recipe for Orzo Risotto for O-Ovarian Cancer

Orzo Risotto
O-rzo Risotto is based on a delicious dish I have been making for years after visiting Aglaia Kremezi at her cooking school Keartisanal on the island of Kea in Greece. It’s foolproof, and can be adapted to any number of vegetables you find at the farmer’s market or have taking over your garden. It shows how crumbled feta becomes a thick, creamy sauce that absorbs and amplifies the other flavours of this dish and what a difference the two cornerstones of Greek cooking, olive oil and lemons, can make to a seemingly familiar dish. This amazing dish can be served as a side or as all important main dish just like risotto. It is indescribably good and one of my all time favourite dishes!!!!!!

The dish brings back many wonderful memories of my time on Kea with Aglaia, Costas, Kostis, Marcie, the kids and Pope and Melek!!!! Aglaia Kremezi is a Julia Child winning cookbook author and writes for several publications as well. Each morning we gathered as a group to pick fresh herbs, tender grape leaves, lemons, zucchini blossoms and seasonal vegetables from Aglaia's extensive gardens to prepare a sumptuous lunch. In Aglaias style.... what was available in the garden dictated what was on the menu. Some days we would linger over a glass of wine under the arbour and enjoy our efforts; and other days we would venture to a secluded beach where we barbecued freshly caught fish. We hiked many of the ancient trails from one end of the island to the other with a botany lesson thrown in here and there. If you enjoy seafood, immersing yourself in a different culture and instant friendships this is the place for you.

I am submitting this recipe to the 2nd Annual O Foods Contest for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month hosted by Michelle of Bleeding Espresso and Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy. This is the second year for the O Foods Contest for Ovarian Cancer Awareness. The O Foods tradition is in honor of award-winning pastry chef Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen. Gina has been fighting ovarian cancer for the past year and a half, and in addition to physically battling the disease, she has also started the Cowgirl Cure Foundation to raise awareness and money for research as well.

I am too late to submit my recipe for the contest but I am hoping the ladies will consider me for the roundup as we all raise awareness for this worthy event. That's what galavanting off to San Francisco will do!!! Check out the rounds at Bleeding Espresso and Ms. Adventures in Italy

From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose, but include bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).

There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.

In spite of this, patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.

When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.

Please help spread the word about ovarian cancer. Together we can make enough noise to kill this silent killer.

**O-rzo Risotto with Zucchini, Dill and Feta**

8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup olive oil
4 - 5 cloves of peeled and thinly sliced garlic
4 cups diced or grated zucchini or yellow squash
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb orzo (approximately 2 cups)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 T grated or shredded lemon zest
1-1 1/2 cups feta cheese, mashed
fennel fronds, fresh dill or mint

To serve six as a main course or eight as a side dish, heat chicken or vegetable broth or, if you don’t have broth, water. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add 4 or 5 cloves of peeled and thinly sliced garlic and four cups of diced or grated zucchini or yellow squash. Sauté, stirring, for 10 minutes over medium-high heat; the squash will exude a good deal of liquid. Add 1/2 cup of white wine, a pound of orzo, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir to coat the pasta with oil. Pour in three cups of broth and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently and adding more liquid as needed. The pasta can be al dente, for the risotto effect, or cooked completely through, as you like.Remove the cooked orzo from the heat and add freshly squeezed lemon juice, grated or shredded lemon zest, and 1 -1/2 cups of feta cheese, mashed with a fork (and now: magic sauce). Buy the least salty feta you can find and save some of the crumbs for garnish. Snip over the risotto whatever combination you like of fennel fronds, fresh dill, and mint. Let the garden tell you how to season an irresistibly Greek, and simple, dish.

You may also enjoy......

Greek Avgolemeno Soup with Orzo
Andrea Meyers - Orzo with Parmesan and Basil
Hugging the Coast - Creamy Indian Spiced Orzo Pudding
Jennifer Garner - Shrimp and Orzo
Vegetarian Times - Orzo with Lemony Leek Sauce,

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Bummer, I am SO sad I missed you at BlogHer! I hope you had a fun time. Hopefully we can meet up another time!

  2. A fantastic recipe! That orzo risotto must taste great!



  3. Your recipe looks delicious - I can't wait to try it! I myself was diagnosed with ovarian cancer less than a year ago at the age of 29. For me, I was lucky enough to have caught it early because I knew about the possible symptoms of ovarian cancer, but so many women don't. I am so so pleased to see what you've posted here, and hopefully it will help others like me catch it early and go on to live a happy and healthy life. Thanks!

  4. oh, Val, what a wonderful tribute to O Foods! I just adore this recipe. I have to start making risotto again now that the weather is turning.

  5. I can see why this is one of your favorite dishes!

  6. I can see why this is one of your favorite dishes!

  7. I'll have to make risotto someday. This looks delish. Hope you had a great trip.

  8. I am going to join you in this event.....if I look at your lovely risotto recipe, I will have to step up my game!!!!

  9. Beautiful Val! ...I'm drooling! I absolutely love this recipe!

  10. Kremezi is such a great teacher. I was fortunate enough to attend a seminar she did on bread making and was very impressed. This easy orzo dish is perfect for a weekday meal. If I find nice courgettes I will make it.

  11. A terrific dish for a great cause!

  12. Thanks for that fantastic recipe.

    If you want to know more about Ovary Please do join at Medical Conference called The Ovary Unraveled.



  13. Great recipe. I love using orzo.

  14. I didn't know feta would melt! This sounds wonderful. I love orzo and have made it 'risotto' style, but this opens up all new possibilities.
    And nice post about ovarian cancer. I'll make a note for next year.

  15. This recipe sounds amazing! Great cause/great recipe!

  16. What a wonderful recipe with such delightful flavors...lemon, feta, garlic,squash (which I love),wine and herbs. Bet that is is better than risotto!

  17. A fine dish in Orzotto...a simple twist using kritharaki pasta. I almost made it to Kea this past summer. Next year.


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