by Breshay Woods (Culinary Literacy Center Intern)
Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center. Our mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. For the time being, all Edible Alphabet classes are being run virtually in the interest of public health and safety. During weeks when virtual classes are on break, we will be sharing weekly recipes from our class curriculum and participants.
Here at the Culinary Literacy Center, we have been developing a series of new recipes for our 2021 Virtual Edible Alphabet English series. This week, we are sharing one of those new recipes that is packed with vegetables, herbs, and flavor: Spinach Feta Orzo. This is a light and refreshing dish that everyone in the family can enjoy! The recipe comes together in one pan in under 30 minutes, making it a great weekday meal to cook on the fly.
This Mediterranean-inspired dish was adapted from a New York Times recipe. To try out more Mediterranean dishes, check out the collection of Mediterranean cookbooks in our catalog. And FYI: you can access the New York Times (and other newspapers and periodicals) for free using your Free Library card!
We debuted this recipe in February as part of our partnership with HIAS PA. Starting in December 2020, Edible Alphabet has worked with HIAS to deliver a modified and virtual version of Edible Alphabet English that is incorporated as part of their holistic refugee health program, Wellness Wednesdays. To provide accessibility to all those participating, Edible Alphabet provides free groceries to HIAS clients in this program.
If you simply love cooking and would like to practice more recipes with others, take a look at the current virtual programming being offered by the Culinary Literacy Center. If you are an adult English Language Learner, we still have a few spots available in our Edible Alphabet English classes that meet Wednesday mornings.
Spinach Feta Orzo
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 scallions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 cups of spinach
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup of orzo
- 1 lemon
- 3 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
- ½ cup frozen peas
- 2 Tbsp. fresh dill
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- Slice scallion and garlic into thin pieces.
- Wash and chop spinach.
- Heat a pan over medium heat, then melt butter for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Stir in scallions and garlic, and cook until softened, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in spinach and salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted, for about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in stock and bring to a simmer.
- Zest the lemon with a grater and cut the lemon into wedges.
- Stir in orzo and lemon zest.
- Cover with lid and simmer over medium-low heat until orzo is nearly cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed, for 10 to 14 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Chop and measure parsley and dill.
- Stir in peas, dill, half the parsley, and half of the feta cheese. Cover the pan and cook for another 1 minute.
- Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle with remaining feta cheese and parsley.
Edible Alphabet is made possible through the generous support of the Dry Family Foundation and Dietz & Watson.
For more information about Edible Alphabet and the Culinary Literacy Center, visit freelibrary.org/cook or email kitchen @ freelibrary.org.
Enjoy this recipe? Leave a comment and stay tuned for more Edible Alphabet recipes in the coming weeks!