Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Another great Barefoot Contessa recipe - this feeds a few or expand for a crowd, can be made a day in advance, and is delicious eating on the day of and beyond.  I have made a few adjustments to her version (less lemon juice and olive oil in the dressing; more pine nuts, less feta, left out the basil, etc.) but if you're a purist, here is a link to the original.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
  1. 1 small eggplant, peeled and ¾ inch diced
  2. 1 red bell pepper, diced 
  3. 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  4. 1 red onion, peeled and diced
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 t if using pre-minced in a jar)
  6. 1/3 c olive oil
  7. 1 1/2 t kosher salt
  8. ½ t ground black pepper
  9. ½ lb orzo
  10. 4 green onions, minced (white and green parts)
  11. 4 ozs pignolis (aka, pine nuts), toasted
  12. 3-4 ozs. feta, crumbled
  13. basil leaves, cut into chiffonade (optional)
  1. ¼ c lemon juice
  2. ¼ c olive oil
  3. 1 t kosher salt
  4. ½ t ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425.  Cut up ingredients #1-4 into small, bite size pieces.  Toss with items #5-8 and spread out on a baking sheet or glass pan.  Roast for about 40 minutes and turn/stir halfway.

Cook the orzo as directed, 7-9 minutes.  Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta.  Pour the dressing on the pasta and vegetable mixture.  Let cool to room temperature and then add ingredients #10-13.  Serve at room temperature.

Notes: most times I leave out the green onions.  Always toast the pine nuts (in a sauté pan or in the oven under the broiler).  I prefer the feta crumbled small because it’s such an overwhelming flavor that large chunks drowns out the flavor of the pasta and vegetables.  Most time I leave out the basil leaves.  Like the green onions, it’s a preferred taste (and my kids don’t prefer it). 

Happy Birthday A&E!

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