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Orzo with Roasted Vegetables


Ingredients For Roasting Vegetables:

  1. 1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced

  2. 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced

  3. 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced

  4. 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced

  5. 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

  6. 1/3 cup good olive oil

  7. 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  9. 1/2 pound Orzo or rice-shaped pastaFor Salad Dressing:

  10. 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

  11. 1/3 cup good olive oil

  12. 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  13. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients to finish:

  1.  4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)

  2.  1/4  cup pine nuts, toasted

  3.  3/4 pound good feta, goat cheese, or mozzarella 1/2 dice or large crumbles

  4.  15 fresh basil leaves, cut julienne


  1. Roast Veggies: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour contents of bowl onto a large sheet pan and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula. Allow to cool on pan before adding to Orzo.

  2. Cook Orzo: Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 8 minutes, to al dente. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Drizzle a little of the dressing (or extra virgin olive oil) to keep Orzo from sticking together and allow to cool to room temperature.

  3. Combine: Add the roasted vegetables to the Orzo pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl. Toss lightly. Add the finish ingredients scallions, pine nuts, cheese, and basil.

  4. Make Dressing: Whisk to emulsify the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour 1/2  dressing over the pasta and vegetables. If needed, add more of the dressing.

Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

This recipe is a slight variation of a wonderful summer dish invented by Sarah Leah Chase in her book The Open House Cookbook and adapted for Barefoot Contessa Parties! 



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