I have been trying to find an authentic recipe for this since I heard about Syrian yogurt-baked orzo from a friend. I couldn’t find a recipe that sounded like the one my friend Holly O’Neill described, so I made this up. I am sure it is a long way from the traditional recipe, but it has all the things I want to eat with orzo. I’m still in search of the Syrian version. Please do get in touch if you have a good recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F/220°C.
- In an 11-inch/28 cm baking dish (I use a round one), toss the leeks with the olive oil, half the lemon juice, the coriander, fennel and chili and season well with salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and cook in the hot oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toss the spinach in a large mixing bowl with the orzo, half the herbs and all the remaining ingredients. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Remove the baking dish from the oven and stir through the yogurt, spinach and orzo mixture. Pour over 1 ¾ cups/400 ml boiling water and stir again to combine. Cover the dish with foil (or a lid if it has one) and return to the oven for 25 minutes.
- After this time, remove the foil, squeeze over the remaining lemon juice and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes, until the top is crisp and beginning to turn golden at the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before sprinkling over the remaining herbs, scallions and lemon zest.