Saturday, April 17, 2010

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

This is a terrific side dish that goes with almost anything, and the best part is that it can be prepared ahead of time, and is best served at room temperature.  I used Ina Garten's recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook, except I left out the feta and pine nuts.  I'm sure it would be wonderful with those additions, but I didn't have any and was going for a clean and simple dish.  I served this with Chicken Gyros and hummus and it was a perfect dinner.  Roasting the vegetables gives them such a wonderful caramelized flavor.  I highly recommend this one.  Enjoy!

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties!  copyright 2001

1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4 inch diced
1 red bell pepper, diced in 1 in. pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, diced in 1 in. pieces
1 orange bell pepper, diced in 1 in. pieces
1/2 red onion, peeled and diced in 1 in pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 lb. orzo
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (I left this out)
3/4 lb feta cheese, diced in 1/2 in. cubes (I left this out)
10-15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

For the dressing:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. dried dill weed
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper on a sheet pan.  Roast for 40 minutes until browned. 

Cook orzo according to package directions.  Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add the roasted vegetables, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the bowl.   

For the dressing:  combine lemon juice, olive oil, dill, salt and pepper.  Add to the pasta and vegetables while they are still warm.  Let cool to room temperature, then add scallions, basil, pine nuts and feta, if using.   Check for seasonings and serve at room temperature. 


Michelle said...

Oh, this sounds delicious and it's so pretty! So many bright colors. Perfect for spring and summer!

Jessica {The Novice Chef} said...

Oh yum! Sounds wonderful!