Last week I was contemplating dinner when a coworker remarked on the Vegetable Tart I had posted earlier in the week. She was going to make it for dinner that night, and wanted to share with me one of her favorite recipes as thanks. I am always interested in trying other people's "go-to" recipes and when I saw it was a Barefoot Contessa recipe, even more so.
You should know that I am involved in a love affair with orzo. The shape and size of rice, with the texture of pasta - it is ideal for anything from pasta salads to stir fries. When cooked correctly it has this silky texture that is to die for. I forsee a lot of orzo salads and sides happening this summer - and this recipe is certain to be one of them!
Orzo Salad with Roasted Vegetables
from the Barefoot Contessa
Ingredients for salad
1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4 inch diced
1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 lb orzo pasta or rice-shaped pasta
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pignolis, toasted (pine nuts)
3/4 lb good feta, 1/2 inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne
For the dressing
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
This really couldn't be easier. Preheat the oven to 400.
Take your chopped eggplant, peppers and red onion and combine in a bowl.
Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread out on foil lined baking pan.
Roast for 40 minutes / until slightly browned.
While the vegetables are roasting prepare the orzo per the instructions. When it is done drain and rinse in cold water.
Toss with roasted vegetables and let cool to room temperature. Add basil, scallions, feta and pine nuts. Toss with dressing.
Look how festive!
And a taste explosion to boot. My brother, when I told him I was making an Orzo Salad with Roasted Vegetables, wanted no part of it. But when it was done he had some and liked it so much he even had seconds! It is fool proof and I think would appeal to anyone. Thus it would be a simple,tasty and well recieved addition to any cookout!