Thanks Deb. I think the name is BelGioso. I just made this, but didn’t have enough eggplant, so I subbed in a can of chickpeas and I thought it still worked really well. I thought so, too :-). I had a bad experience with bitter eggplant so I haven’t had it lately, but maybe this dish will inspire me to give it another try! I love the brightness that the lemon zest gave to this! Wonderful recipe! Thank you! I made your applesauce recipe to use in the cake and it turned out so moist and rich…it’s really the epitome of a fruity, spicy fall dessert. Thanks for a great recipe–even my meat-loving boyfriend loved it! We’re still solidly in the upper 90s. Thanks so much for the post! The flavor was delicious but it was a little gummy/starchy. I actually roast the eggplant and tomatoes (both from my garden) and that seems to really intensify the flavor, especially the tomatoes which get even sweeter from the roasting. Glad to see you’ve come around! Thanks! Caramelized/seared all veggies, seasoning while cooking (instead of seasoning I also just read an article in Food and Wine on Ottolenghi and cut out some of the featured recipes- one of them is lamb-stuffed eggplant. This was divine. Loved this – the combination of ingredients is superb… I couldn’t face reading all 330 comments, but wonder if anyone else found that adding the extra teaspoon of salt was a bit too much? just wondering when to add that ingredient. I made this last night. Would it be overkill to toast the orzo first? I feel the same way about baked pastas. I also upped the oregano to 3 TBLS, and in the future I wouldn’t do that. In the interests of full disclosure, my changes/substitutions: I am a sook for citrus but very glad I added the lemon, it is perfect! I also added the mozzarella and the parmesan after I transferred the rest to the baking dish, which created a nice cheesy blanket. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Delicious – and just the right amount of cheese. It made the dish seems like the orzo was raw on the top. Used commenter make-ahead instructions–Made everything except didn’t add veggie stock until right before I baked the next day. The mozzarella helps. I wasn’t sure if the paste functioned for taste or binding ingredients or both. I love every recipe of yours I have tried! Can I sub Arborio rice? Otherwise, this is definitely going to be a repeat dish for every year! I used chicken stock because that is what I had on hand, but other than that I followed the recipe exactly as printed, using most of the lemon zest from one whole lemon, and the extra amount of oregano as you mentioned — I even weighted the mozzarella to be certain I did not use too much. It was so luxurious and yet actually pretty virtuous — magical stuff! Deb – I added lots of extra veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, extra tomatoes) because I had them…and just wanted to say THANK YOU because somehow this meal accomplished 2 things I previously thought impossible: I’m happy to say this has gone into permanent rotation for me. Stir in the orzo and tomato paste and cook for two minutes more. Any suggestions as to how to prevent that for next time? I eat that every fall and I feel so good after I do. I’m not usually one to comment, but this was so delicious I couldn’t resist sharing! I over-salted a bit, but otherwise great. A sweet version with butter and cinnamon would be lovely too! Thank you! The kind of recipe that smells and looks as delicious while you’re making it as it eventually tastes. This was delicious and will be going in my regular rotation. AND, it was DELICIOUS! My garden has been producing eggplant faster than I can pick them this summer and I’ve been running out of new ways to cook them up… This was perfect!! 332 comments and totally worth it! I’m going to try making this this weekend. This looks crazy good. The 3-and-under set are not impressed, but never are. Easy substitution. - In a oven proof pot heat the oil on a medium heat and fry the eggplant for about 8 minutes, stirring now and then until golden. Also, I may not have done a thorough job of salting/draining the eggplant. I’m with Renny on this one. What did I do wrong? My eggplant, like most others’, soaked up all the oil, but no biggie. Any way to mitigate that? For some reason I always thought it was added with the orzo over heat. It’s utterly delicious. oh, and please come to Pittsburgh! I’d try again with just garlic,onions, tomatoes, eggplant, lemon zest, and cheese. On the upside! If so, can I still use it raw? Also, in case anyone is wondering, this makes 4 HUGE servings. It took about an extra 15 minutes to bake in the oven. To make this ahead of time — I bet you could do everything but bake it the day before, even have it ready in its dish in the fridge the night before. You might prefer to pre-roast the peppers and take their skin off. Can this recipe be made ahead and kept in the fridge until its baked even though the pasta isn’t cooked? 3 medium tomatoes, diced. I crave baked cheesy pasta dishes even in the middle of summer! A few notes in case anyone else makes this mistake… I used a few carrots (instead of one) and then undercooked them when I was sauteing them. Slowly turning into an eggplant lover. Made this 2 nights ago. OH MY GOODNESS! I think this fits the bill! :) I might use brown rice instead of orzo because I’m trying to stay gluten-free for a little bit, WOWWW THat looks amazing!! Rice And Orzo A Life Time Of Cooking vegeyum ... Bijna Net Zo Lekker Als Thuis Ovenschotel Van Orzo Aubergine I made this last week, but halved the recipe since it’s just me. Just before baking? Orzo… cooked as it bakes with vegetables. I think it’ll be fab (though hard to go past the original…), We made similar dishes, they taste great. I used fresh thyme instead of oregano and it tasted great. I *just* last night made some weird concoction with eggplant and tomatoes (over couscous) last night, and wish I’d had this great recipe to guide me! I loved how the lemon zest offered a background freshness, a welcome addition to offer your palate a way to experience the overall flavors and not get bogged down by the cheese – even though I love melted cheese on anything! and was glad I didn’t add the full amount. not a fan of pasta dishes with 20 kilos of cheese in it! Deb and Jenna – I have looked at ordering the book from as I live in New Zealand and they have free worldwide shipping, and they have it available to pre order. Hi! The lemon really made the dish (I used the zest of an entire lemon)…, This is lovely! I’m sharing it with everyone I know! Thanks for another keeper! I added it, but can’t really see or taste it at all in the final dish. :). Jan 19, 2017 - Buy delicious freshly made Ottolenghi products, hard to find pantry ingredients and signed books from our online store, delivered worldwide. I’m all for pillows of eggplant and puffs of cheese! Even my meat-loving husband thought this was a complete and delicious dinner! My boyfriend and I are obsessed with this dish. I also pre-ordered your book some time ago through and received an email saying my order was cancelled. Great mouthfeel. But this looks so comforting and cheesy… perfect for the rainy weather we’ve been having. Thank you to all the people who suggested using smoked mozzarella, which was a delicious change. I have always had great results with Ottolenghi’s recipes and I’m not sure why this did not turn out correctly. I had a dream about making this last night (I have never used orzo. Thanks, I’m unlurking for this, I love the blog and read most days :) x. I tried this last night and I will add my grade of “yummy” to the pile. Such a wintery dish. I used Japanese eggplants because that’s what I had on hand, and dried oregano because ditto. Made this last night, just in time for the cool spell. Is this an eggplant dish for the not quite yet eggplant converted? We’re only a few hours away. :). If not, what the F*** do I do with it????? Thank you for posting an Ottolenghi recipe! If I were to do this again, I’d add The lemon zest right before cooking also. Can’t wait to make this – we actually have all the ingredients – I might try tonight! Top a bowl of this with a sunny side up egg — a perfect breakfast and an excellent use of leftovers. You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in. I’m so glad I found your blog. They’ll protect the orzo from getting dry. Log in. I made a double batch of this tonight and the flavor was great but the texture was not quite right–some spots were undercooked and some were overcooked and soggy. This recipe seemed perfect because there was a large eggplant in the fridge. Thanks deb! I really, really hope DC is somewhere on that list!!!!!!! Thanks! ;). Looking forward to trying this one. Best regards from a Dutch girl. I planted eggplant for the first time in my garden this year, determined to figure out a way to eat one of the few vegetables I didn’t like. And try to make as many as I can. (You probably don’t like pudding skin either, do you? This didn’t stand out as a summer dish but I had eggplant to use, so decided to try something different… it was phenomenal. Never mind, Deb, saw your note at the top. That’s just what I did. Thanks for the amazing recipe! I’d either add a little more orzo next time or reduce the liquid (depending on how you like your pasta to veggie ratio). It’s ok to eat the entire batch at once, right? I also love how it is not a traditional heavy baked Italian dish. It’s added at the end of the middle paragraph. I managed to break it up when it was in the frying pan but I’m worried it won’t cook correctly. The most recent version didn’t have carrots or celery (because I didn’t have any) but I used red pepper intead. Made it to accompany Sunday Nite Football and it was even better than Peyton. So though I’ve never commented before, I really thought this time I owed you a big THANK YOU!!! If you don’t have fresh oregano, use half the amount of dried oregano. Will have to make it! Fennel and chickpeas? I made this around two weeks ago for the first time! I only had a baby eggplant so added some yellow squash that I had. I also had spinach that had to be used and I added some great northern beans too. Increasing the tomato paste from 1 teaspoon up to as much as 1 Tablespoon could add a bit more as well, but would not over power the other ingredients. This dish looks fantastic and I am making it tonight for tomorrow’s dinner. So – uh – follow the directions in the recipe :). if the frying pan i’m using on the burner is oven-safe, could I just leave it in there and put it in the oven instead of transferring it over ? Hey I was reading over the directions and it doesn’t say when to add the Mozzarella? Jul 31, 2017 - aubergine and pomegranate molasses was one of my faves we made that day. OMG Deb, this looks just perfect for Autumn! I reheated a portion last night and added a generous squeeze of lemon juice and a lot of siracha and that helped immensely. Do you think it would be okay to substitute 8 ounces of quinoa for the orzo? Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. It is beautiful, and I can’t wait to read it! Now I’ll have your cookbook AND his cookbook to obsess about! Yes! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe :). I also added about two cups of broth, and the previously mentioned tomato paste in a tube. This looks delicious! So I added a bit more mozzarella than Deb calls for and also threw in some asiago with the parmesan, because I had it in my fridge. hi deb! But in fact it goes at the end? I’ve already bought more eggplant so that I can make it again this week. Thanks so much I would love to make it for my movie group but need to do things in advance. do you think i should cook the rice beforehand or just let it do its thing just like the pasta did…not sure on this one. PS – See you in Toronto soon! Ah, one other note – I didn’t have fresh oregano so I used 1tsp of zaatar instead. If needs more time or liquid, you can always add it at the end. I am sorry. Loved the lemon zest! I made this dish this evening (I just happened to have pretty much everything on hand, so I figured, what the heck?!?) Hi! I’m not convinced that the carrots and celery add anything to the eggplant and tomatoes. and AT LEAST 3 tablespoons of fresh oregano (FRESH oregano – how lovely!). Mmmmm… those eggplant pillows, mozzarella cheese pulls, lemon zest as a zippy contrast that keeps the whole thing peppy. R — 4 ounces was a weight but I think you meant in grams? i agree with the previous reviewer that you may want to change the directions to rinse the pasta *just before* adding into the veg mixture so they don’t clump together. Yotam Ottolenghi's baked orzo with mozzarella and oregano from Plenty More. I love the eggplant and the fresh oregano and just enough cheese. We’ll see. It’s okay. Your email address will not be published. Oh my word. Thanks for the inspiration! I love the idea of the orzo instead of ziti, this looks delicious and a perfect use for perfectly in season eggplant! Where did you get your baking dish for this? I assumed the salting of the eggplant was to get it less sponge-like to prevent it soaking up all the oil in the pan…despite liberal salting and a 35 minute sit, my eggplant sucked up all the oil like a complete jerk. And since there are only two of us, we have enough left for a few more dinners this week. We kept the dish in the oven for 10 or so extra. My husband–not the biggest eggplant lover of all time–said that he thought he thought that even someone who despised eggplant would like this. I learned to enjoy them grilled, but this was one of the first eggplant recipes that I made and gobbled down and came back for more. Fate soffriggere per 5 minuti la mezza cipolla, l’aglio intero schiacciato e il sedano. If your vegetable broth is already salty, you might want to reduce the salt a bit. 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) vegetable stock My eggplant did soak up the oil though but no biggie. Because this is an Otttolenghi dish, and Ottolenghi didn’t get famous for making things the ordinary way, there are tinier elements in there that I would have never considered adding, like fresh oregano, which works here so well. I didn’t want to turn my oven on —August!—so just cooked it covered on the stovetop for 20 minutes. Brian — I never did either but seem to always have it now with a kid. It was delicious! Made this last night, and it was fabulous. I personally thought there was too much going on once I added that… You were right Deb. And there’s a little mirepoix, a base of carrots, celery and onion that gives the whole dish a depth that makes you take notice. It was too much oregano for me, but my family liked it. Thanks Deb! I may have used a bit more salt since I added pinches as I was frying the mirepoix. If you don’t like or don’t have either, thyme, fresh or dried, would work well here but it’s much stronger in flavor and only half as much should be needed. Thanks for inspiring him! I made this for dinner last night and just had some leftovers a few minutes ago! A new dish to try with the beautiful eggplant from this week’s farm share. Even better, I got to enjoy the leftovers. So a short freeze. I tried to simplify and bake the casserole in the Le Creuset buffet pan that I sautéed everything in but this made the bottom layer of orzo stick. So, the egg plant skin isn’t peeled? Not like Pizza mozz…? It turned out watery and just…blah. We Southerners just love you and I will bring my three month-old son to the event. That helped, but it was still blah. It was a full pan, but didn’t overflow. Hmm, if you didn’t like the crunchy lid perhaps the baking could be done in the slow cooker. Also, the sweating the eggplants was an aha! I woke up in the middle of the night to taste the leftovers to see if I could pack it for my boyfriend’s lunch without the orzo being too hard and it was great. and great use of eggplant. Dana — I don’t see why not. 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice This is exactly what I was emailing you about! perfect timing! This is the essence of comfort food, and it was well worth the extra effort to prepare the eggplant as described! This looks delicious. I put the sliced tomatoes on top sprinkled with some of the parm and that worked very well. I also like the possibility of trying sundried tomatoes since I use those more often. Thanks for another incredible recipe! Hopefully the Amazon-problem will be dissolved soon! Go for the zest (literally – used about 3/4 large lemon’s worth) it adds a lot. If I made it again (and I might try), I might reduce the broth a bit, reduce the tomatoes a bit, cover for a little longer, and broil at the end, maybe with a cheese layer on top to make a different kind of crust. This was a really great recipe – nice way to work eggplant (which I love) into a weekday menu and super simple to make. On a book note – and I am posting this here and not e-mailing you so that other people from the UK can chime in if they received the same e-mail – this past Friday I received an e-mail from saying that your book is no longer available (!!!!!!) The best part was leftovers the next day. Used half zucchini and half eggplant and canned tomatoes, ended up removing a cup of the couscous before mixing with the vegetables because I wanted a higher veggies to starch ratio. This looks delicious and hits many of my “favorite things to put in my mouth” notes. I’m thinking of swapping mozzarella with feta for a Mediterranean style dish! I realized there is a slight error in the grammar of the recipe as written. Your email address will not be published. So glad I made a double batch (I didn’t want to leave half a box of orzo to get lost in the pantry). Can this be baked in the same pan that you use to cook everything? A drizzle of truffle oil wouldn’t hurt at all! i made this for a dinner party this weekend and it was a huge hit! I’ll be making it again. This is fabulous’ I’ve just moved to Rome for a bit and it’s amazing to see a recipe somewhere where all the ingrediants are actually on hand and easy to find (you’d be surprised- cumin, baking soda, vanilla extract? Am I the only one who really DOES like a pound of cheese in a big old gloppy mess of casserole? Congratulations on the upcoming book release – can’t wait for both the preview and my copy to arrive in the mail! Is it cooked or do you just stir it in dry and uncooked? We’re living in Mumbai for a year, and it’s a struggle to come up with remarkable non-Indian food that I can make with what’s easy to find here. Forget my last question. I’ve made it twice in the past several weeks. Love your blog!! In Italian it means barley, which is also used as a grain for summer salads and winter soups. Tonight will be my third time to make this in just over two weeks – what a revelation! I tweaked the recipe to replace the eggplant with two large zucchini and some mushrooms (picky kids, lack of patience for the eggplant to de-bitter). The eggplant was mushy on the outside and underdone on the inside,. What do you think? If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can use canned ones (though fresh will hold up better on top). This or the zucchini tomato. And really quite easy to make. Sounds delicious, I can’t wait to try it. I recently discovered an amazing heirloom tomato soup from one of my favorite restaurants in Calistoga, and I’ve been making batch after batch in the heat so I can freeze the soup for winter. what a lovely recipe! I used a lot less lemon zest and oregano than was suggested because I was nervous but ended up wishing for more of each so I’ve listed the range from my amount to the suggested one below. I made this in a cast iron pan – one pan start to finish. One less dish to clean . I made this over the weekend and it was amazing! It’s raining outside…I’m totally making this tonight. As for the tomato sauce debate, why doesn’t everyone use the tomato paste in a tube?! – I put in some extra mozzarella. The orzo was cooked perfectly with the 20 minutes covered, 20 minutes uncovered — anyone who has trouble might want to check the internal oven temperature for accuracy — if the temp is not correct, the cooking times will be off. pop in the oven. It took a bit longer than expected and next time I will start the process a little earlier. So comforting and delicious! Strange thing is that I never keep orzo around. You might try incorporating it in future eggplant recipes too. No reason to use a water-logged mozarella for anything but a fresh salad or sandwich, in my opinion. Reduce the amount of carrots and eggplant, any way any shape as cups-and-spoons measurements always. 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