Recipe: ‘Superfood’ Orzo with roasted broccoli, curly kale & almonds

If you’ve never tried roasting broccoli or curly kale, stop what you’re doing and do it now.  Forget the flabby and watery boiled or steamed versions, roasting these two ‘superfood’ beauties gives them a completely different character – crisp and crackly in some parts, tender in others.

Don’t be tempted to think the ‘Superfood’ Orzo title makes this a virtuous recipe – yes, broccoli, kale, almonds, lemon and garlic are full of good stuff, but balanced here by lashings of butter, feta and veggie parmesan.   Scrummy.

Superfood Orzo - ChopIf you haven’t used orzo before, its a tiny rice-shaped pasta.  It has a lovely texture and is quicker and easier to cook than rice.  Of course if you don’t have any to hand, any sort of pasta (or even rice, quinoa, giant cous-cous or other grains) would work well here.


(Oh, and thanks for bearing with me after quite a few months without blogging.  We’ve had major building work done and were without a kitchen for longer than my sense of humour lasted – the novelty of microwave meals and washing up in the bath wore off quickly and I didn’t think you discerning foodies would particularly want to read about which supermarket’s microwave pasta bake I rated most highly!).

Recipe: 'Superfood' Orzo with roasted broccoli, curly kale & almonds
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Serves: Serves 4
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 leek
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 80g (around half a bag) of curly kale
  •  2 large cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g whole almonds (skins on)
  • 400g orzo
  • 25g butter
  • 100g feta cheese (check it is vegetarian)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Optional vegetarian parmesan to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Prepare the veg: peel and slice the onion and leek; cut the broccoli into small bite-size florets; remove the central stems from the kale and chop roughly into bite-size pieces; peel and crush the garlic.  Place all these into a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil and a generous seasoning of salt.
  3. Tip onto a large baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning occasionally during cooking.  After 15 minutes, add the almonds to the tray to gently toast for the remaining 5 minutes.
  4. Whilst the veg is roasting, boil the orzo for 10-12 minutes until tender in a very large pan of salted water.  (You need a lot of water and space for it to cook, or you will end up with a gloopy mess).  Drain and leave in the colander/sieve.
  5. In the pan which you used for the orzo, (now empty), melt the butter.  Add the orzo and stir gently over a medium heat until fully coated and glistening with butter.  Squeeze in the lemon juice, and stir through the veg.
  6. Plate up, crumbling a quarter of the feta over each serving.  Eat immediately.

Make it vegan: Just omit the feta and parmesan, and swap the butter for dairy-free margarine.  Simples!

Superfood Orzo 3