Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

If my mom says something is good, it means it's good. She always got compliments on her cooking growing up, and I used to ask her if I would ever be a good cook like her, and she always said she started-out terrible and burnt her first turkey dinner for her in-laws.
So this is an "expensive recipe" says my mom but worth it.

Recipe by: Barefoot Contessa Parties
INGREDIENTS    (serves 6)
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and ¾ inch diced
  • red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp  salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup orzo (usually found in the pasta section, it looks like rice)
  • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • ¼ cup pignolis/pine nuts, toasted in the oven (optional, since yes, they're expensive but SO good)
  • ¾ lb good feta, ½ inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • 1/3 cup  freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup  cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet.  Roast for 40 min, 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. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and pour on the pasta while still warm so it absorbs into the pasta. 
When the vegetables are roasted add to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the baking sheet into the pasta bowl. Toss lightly and let cool to room temperature.  When almost ready to serve, add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil.  Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.
This dish is even better made in advance; just add the pine nuts, feta and basil leaves at the last minute.
Bon App├ętit!!!

1 comment:

  1. i can attest to this recipe being amazing!! I just tried it last weekend when visiting my mom...cannot wait to make it. She even made it without the pine nuts and it was still divine!!