Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Totally amazing side dish recipe:  Orzo with Roasted Vegetables


I love to bring this recipe to pot lucks because it is always a big hit!

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Slow roasted eggplant, peppers and onions turned into tender, caramelized morsels.

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Veggies are added to cooked orzo and tossed with a lemony dressing. Add scallions, toasted pine nuts, fresh basil and CHUNKS of feta (not crumbled) and you’ve got yourself a side salad. It is typically served at room temperature, but it is just as good chilled the following day.

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 40 min

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

LOVE! Try subbing out zucchini for eggplant and walnuts for the pine nuts, also very good.

Ingredients:

1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
1 medium red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 medium red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound orzo pasta

FOR DRESSING:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

TO ASSEMBLE:
4 whole green onions (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3/4 pound feta cheese, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Toss eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

3. Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

4. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

5. For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pine nuts, feta and basil. Check the seasonings and serve at room temperature.

Tips:

*Add the dressing when the orzo is still warm so it absorbs into the pasta.
*This dish is even better made in advance; just check the seasonings and add the pine nuts, feta and basil leaves at the last minute.

SOURCE: RecipeGirl.com (via Barefoot Contessa Parties!)