Saturday, March 5, 2011

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

I made this dish for a ladies’ pot luck luncheon I attended. Roasting the vegetables enhances the flavors, and it’s so easy to just throw in the oven while you prepare the rest. The feta is a nice complimentary flavor against the roasted veggies, and the pignolis offer a subtle crunchy texture. This is a great dish for a crowd or even a picnic, since it’s best served at room temperature.

Source: Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Barefoot Contessa Parties!


1 small eggplant, peeled and ¾-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

⅓ cup good olive oil

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta

For the dressing:

⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

⅓ cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:

4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)

¼ cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted

¾ pound good feta, ½-inch diced (not crumbled)

15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

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

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

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, pignolis, feta, and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.