Orzo risotto with cavolo nero, peas and chilli


It’s peak brassica time! Organic cavolo nero, curly kale and red kale fresh from local farms –including our own – are a staple of October/November veg boxes. This recipe (from Adam Bush on olivemagazine.com) is another take on a classic, versatile formula: carbs+kale+garlic+chilli. Love the different textures in this dish. Add a splash of white wine just before the veg stock, if you wish.

Serves 2.


  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 150g orzo pasta
  • 450ml vegetable stock, hot
  • 100g cavolo nero, stems removed, and cut into long pieces
  • 100g frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp soft cheese
  • 15g parmesan cheese (or vegan substitute), finely grated
  • Extra parmesan to serve (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt. Cook gently for 5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Tip in the pasta and stir so every piece is coated in oil. Add the vegetable stock a ladleful at a time, stirring in between and adding more once absorbed.
  3. After 5 minutes, add the cavolo nero. Cook for a further 5 minutes and, once the orzo and cavolo nero are tender, add the peas and some seasoning for a final 2 minutes.
  4. Stir through the soft cheese and the parmesan, and serve with a little extra parmesan, if you like.