Pea and Leek Orzo

Just to let you know, this post was written before I started the paleo diet to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding. 

I've gone a bit mad for orzo. I've been chucking the slippery little pretend-grains into soups, mock-risottos and salads. And since my 7-year old decided that she HATED risotto, I've been feeding her this. And she loves it. 

The leeks here provide sweetness, along with the peas so you end up with quite a spring-like meal - all green and bouncy and fresh-tasting. The orzo is cooked just like the rice is, in a risotto - but you dump all the stock in one go rather than tending to it, stirring patiently, for 20 minutes. It also takes much less time to cook. All works in its favour, doesn't it?

pea and leek orzo

Pea and Leek Orzo

Serves 4


  • 1 tsp butter and a drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 medium leek
  • handful frozen petit pois
  • 350g orzo
  • 900ml chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • handful of grated Grana Padano, plus extra for serving


  1. Heat a large non-stick frying pan and add the butter and olive oil. Grate in the garlic clove and wash, trim and slice the leek. Fry gently, to soften for about 5-10 minutes. 
  2. Once the leeks have softened, clatter in the frozen peas and stir to coat in the hot oil and butter. Straight away, tip in the orzo and give it a quick stir, again to coat in the oil. 
  3. Tip in the hot stock and bring to a simmer. Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally and top up with water from the kettle (or more stock, if it's handy) if it starts to look a bit dry. Within 10 minutes, your orzo should be tender and plump. 
  4. Have a taste, seasoning with salt and pepper and stir in a handful of the grated Grana Padano cheese. Serve straight away, while hot, and top with more cheese at the table if you like. 


  1. Oh yes, I can see just how delicious that would be. I've not tried orzo as I've never quite known what to do with it - now I do :)

    1. Thanks Choclette, it can tend to stick to the bottom of the pan, but you just need to give it a stir once in a while. I can't get enough of it at the moment!


Post a comment