Wild Thyme – Creamy Baked Orzo with Ham, Peas and Leeks
1 1/4 cup orzo
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 pound (4 ounces) cooked ham steak, coarsely diced into small cubes (scant 1 cup)
3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 ounces (1/2 cup) goat cheese or Boursin Cheese
3 large eggs
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to season Few grinds fresh black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil a 2-quart baking dish.
Fill a medium pan 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 heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add sliced leeks and cook until translucent, about 7-9 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Fold in the diced ham, peas and orzo, stir well, and cook until all the ingredients are warmed through. Fold in the goat cheese and set aside off the heat to cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, milk, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Fold the orzo mixture into the milk mixture and stir to combine.
Scrape the creamy orzo into the prepared baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned along the edges and the center is set completely. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve hot; season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.