Posts tagged olive

Orzo with Lamb, Olives & Feta

Recipe: Orzo with Lamb, Olives & Feta

Sure, orzo is good in soup, but there’s no need to stop there. Here it’s a base for a bold blend of spices, tomato sauce and flavorful ground lamb. The optional pinch of crushed red pepper will add the heat that many crave.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces lean ground lamb, or ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary, or oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
  • 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, pitted black olives
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces orzo
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
  2. Cook lamb (or beef) in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, rosemary (or oregano) and crushed red pepper, if using; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add lamb (or beef).
  4. Puree tomatoes and their juices in a food processor until smooth. Add to the meat mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olives. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, cook orzo until just tender, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve garnished with feta.

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: Orzo with Lamb, Olives & Feta
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Greek Ziti with Lamb Ragù

Recipe: Greek Ziti with Lamb Ragù

This meal is so rich it could feed a small Greek army, and it’s special enough for festive gatherings of family or friends.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano or marjoram, leaves finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 small red chile pepper, such as fresno or cherry, finely chopped
  • About 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • A small handful pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped, or 2 tablespoons black olive tapenade
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • A few grates fresh nutmeg
  • 1 pound ziti pasta
  • 1/2 pound brick greek feta cheese, drained and finely crumbled
  • A handful each flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat a large dutch oven over high heat. Add the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, and the lamb; brown the lamb, caramelizing the meat to deep brown. Add lots of black pepper, sea salt, the oregano (or marjoram for a milder taste), garlic, onion, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and chile pepper and cook for 7 to 8 minutes to soften.
  2. Add the tomato paste and olives (or tapenade) and stir for 30 seconds. Add the wine and deglaze the pan; add the milk and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add nutmeg to taste and simmer the ragù while you cook the pasta.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the hot pot with half of the finely crumbled feta. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Add the ragù to the ziti and stir, adding in the pasta cooking water as necessary to move the heavy ragù around the pasta. Serve in shallow bowls topped with the remaining feta and the finely chopped parsley and mint.

Cooking time (duration): 30 min

Number of servings (yield): 6

Inspired By: Greek Ziti with Lamb Ragù

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Recipe: Greek Salad

Ingredients

  • 6 small, ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 small European cucumber (about 10 oz.), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced in rings
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup drained kalamata olives
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)

Instructions

  1. In a medium salad bowl, toss together tomato, cucumber, onion, oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with parsley, salt and pepper. Toss again. Transfer to bowls and top with olives and feta.

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: Greek Salad
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