Saturday, July 16, 2011

Roasted Veggie Orzo

A perfect end to a busy busy week was spent grilling with our favorite neighbors! Last night we grilled on our Kamado Joe and enjoyed our Favorite Salmon. A last minute decision to make roasted veggie orzo as a side was such a perfect idea. This dish was amazing, love the fresh flavors and light dressing, such a great recipe for a warm summer evening spent with friends/family.

Roasted Veggie Orzo
Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten (of course)

1 eggplant, peeled and diced
2-3 zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 lb orzo

for the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 1/2 to 2 lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

remaining ingredients:
4 scallions (didn't use because I don't like scallions)
1/4 cup pignolis (aka pine nuts) toasted
1/2 - 3/4 lb good feta
6-12 fresh basil leaves (depending on how big your leaves are and how much you want to add) - cut into julienne

Preheat oven to 425

Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, onion, garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. If you want to cook a bit longer (Ina suggests 40 minutes.... I think that would turn your veggies into mush because at 20 minutes they were already soft and tender) you can.

While the veggies are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the orzo, cook for 7 minutes, until tender but not too soft... "al dente". Drain the water and transfer into serving dish.

For the dressing - combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine well.

Add the roasted veggies and the dressing to the pasta. Combine. Allow to cool a bit then add the scallions (if using), pignolis, feta, and basil. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

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