Trisha and Ryan Belstra have been farm members since our very first season back in 2010, back when we offered a summer CSA, which happened to be the summer Trisha and I were both pregnant with our second child.  Six years later, the Belstra’s are still farm members and our babies are no longer babies but still dear friends. Yay for farming and friendship!

This week Trisha’s sharing an easy weeknight recipe featuring comforting pasta and cooked spinach, although you could easily switch out the spinach for tat soi, radish tops, mustard greens, kale, or arugula for a spicier flavor in this delicious orzo recipe!

Here are the instructions from Trisha’s kitchen:

Hello, fellow farm members!  I’m Trisha Belstra and this is my family: Ryan, Nolan, Norah and Leah.

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We live in DeMotte and couldn’t feel more blessed to have the Perkins family as our friends.  What a delight it’s been to be apart of their farm also.  Fall is my absolute favorite season and being able to come pick up these fresh, beautiful vegetables each week during fall share time just makes it all the better!

I’m excited to share with you a quick comforting dinner or side dish–you get to choose.  There are a few different options with this recipe, which makes it nice depending on what you’re in the mood for.  Let’s get started.

Start by making your orzo according to the package directions.  You can use brown rice noodles for a gluten free version of this dish.  While your orzo is cooking, roughly chop 8 cups of spinach, then set aside.

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Next, roughly chop one to two leeks (white and light green part only) and mince two to three cloves of garlic. If you have a garlic press, you can use that instead of mincing to help speed up this quick dish all the more.

In a wok, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté your garlic and leeks on medium heat for a minute or two.  Add your chopped spinach and sauté for a few more minutes.

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Then add your drained orzo to the mix, pour in another tablespoon or so of olive oil, and season to taste with sea salt.  Stir until warmed. 

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Serve and top with Parmesan cheese to taste.  If you like things spicy like I do, try adding some crushed red pepper flakes too.

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Earlier I mentioned there a couple other options for this dish. Sometimes I add blackened Cajun chicken–just chicken breasts rubbed with Cajun seasoning, then slightly charred on the stovetop.  Or, if you’d like a saucier version, you can prepare an Alfredo sauce on the side.  I usually leave the sauce separate because we prefer the plainer version for lunch leftovers.

Here’s how to make the sauce.  In a medium saucepan melt 6 tablespoons of butter.  Once that is melted whisk in 6 tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Gradually pour in 4 cups of milk (whole is best but 2% works just fine too).  Bring to a boil and cook, stirring continually for two minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.  Pour over your orzo dish if desired.  And again, if you like to heat it up, add some Cajun seasoning to this sauce.  Yu-um.  Our seasoning bottle has been ending up on the dinner table lately.  

I hope you enjoy this warm dish as much as our family does as this cold weather begins! 

Happy Fall, ya’ll! 🙂

 

Spinach with Orzo and Garlic
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 16 oz orzo, brown rice pasta, egg noodles, or rice
  2. 3 T olive oil
  3. 1-2 leeks, white and light green part only, roughly chopped
  4. 2-3 cloves large garlic, minced or pressed
  5. 8 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Cajun or red pepper flakes, optional
  8. Parmesan cheese to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook orzo according to package directions; drain.
  2. Heat a wok over medium heat. Add 1 T olive oil.
  3. Once the oil is hot, saute the garlic and leek for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and saute 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the orzo. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season to taste with sea salt. Stir until warm.
  6. Serve immediately, topping each individual plate with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
To vary this recipe, try one of these options
  1. Add blackened Cajun chicken.
  2. Add Alfredo sauce.
Perkins' Good Earth Farm http://perkinsgoodearthfarm.com/