Creamy feta and asparagus casserole with orzo, Swiss chard, and yogurt.
About 30 of us are coming together this weekend to celebrate Easter, the coming of Spring, and a few birthdays. There will be music, romantic dancing, a stellar sunset over the Lake, and a pot luck dinner we're all contributing to. The temperatures will be cold, but we'll be all tucked inside a cabin perched high above a very un-Spring-like Lake Tahoe, kept warm by good food, wine, laughter, and friendship.
Gatherings like this are the perfect opportunity to try out a new dish you've had on the sidelines, and casseroles are the perfect thing. They're transportable, can be cooked ahead of time, and are designed for a crowd. If you have an event like this coming up, save this recipe. If not, go ahead and make it for dinner tonight. Your family will thank you!
Creamy Feta and Asparagus Casserole with Orzo
- 1 cup uncooked orzo
- 2 teaspoons olive oil plus more for the pan
- 1 large leek white and light green parts only, thinly sliced rounds – about 10 ounces
- 2 cups asparagus pieces - I slice them into 1" pieces
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta - I buy blocks and crumble it myself
- 1 tbsp capers
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup creme fraîche
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and butter a 2-quart baking dish.
- Fill a medium pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the orzo until al dente, about 5-7 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat,, heat up the olive oil, and add the sliced leeks and asparagus. Sauté until softened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme - and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and fold in the hot, cooked orzo, the Swiss chard, feta, and capers.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, creme fraîche, milk, and zest. Gradually fold the orzo mixture into the milk mixture, stir to combine with a spatula, and pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned along the edges and the center is set completely. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
This week we kick off #SensationalSides on the Food Network's blog, FN Dish. The theme Sensational Sides aims to celebrate the bounty of spring produce that’s popping up at farmers markets and grocery stores this time of year. Many weeks we'll feature a specific fruit or vegetable (next week it's all about peas), but some weeks it's more general, like this week, which is all about Side Dishes for Easter. We'll be using the hashtag #SensationalSides if you want to follow along, and be sure to visit out Pinterest Board!
EASTER SIDE DISHES
The Lemon Bowl: Roasted Asparagus and Tangerines with Toasted Almonds
Devour: Have a Hoppin’ Easter with These Remixed Brunch and Dinner Dishes
Creative Culinary: Deviled Eggs with Lemon Zest, Capers and Chives
The Mom 100: Spring Greens Salad with Kohlrabi and Golden Beets
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Vanilla Pudding with Fruit Jam Topping
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Sauteed Broccolini With Garlic And Chile On Toast
Red or Green: Pasta With Kale, Garlic & Calabrian Chile
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Fennel & Cherry Tomato Salad with Toasted Pistachios
Healthy Eats: 5 Spring Sides for a Healthier Easter Feast
Taste with the Eyes: Butter Lettuce Cups with Fried Goat Cheese, Green Apple, Meyer Lemon Cream
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Creamy Feta and Asparagus Casserole with Orzo
FN Dish: 5 Side Dishes That Are More Important Than the Easter Ham