Orzo Salad with Roasted Vegetables

This recipe is originally from the Barefoot Contessa, given to me by my friend Carol. I modified it slightly for a more intense lemony flavor. Perfect for potlucks or picnics.

1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4” diced

1 red pepper, 1 inch diced

1 yellow pepper, 1 inch diced

1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 lb. orzo or rice shaped pasta

 

For dressing:

peel/zest of 2 lemons 

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (@2 lemons)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper

 

To assemble:

4 scallions, minced -(white and green parts)

1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts, toasted

3/4 lb. good feta - 1/2 inch diced

15 fresh basil leaves, cut and sliced

 

Preheat oven to 425 F.

 

Toss eggplant, peppers, onion and garlic with the olive oil, salt & pepper on a large cookie sheet. Roast for @40 mins. until browned, turning once with a spatula.

 

Meanwhile, cook orzo in boiling water for 7-9 mins. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted veggies with all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan.

 

For dressing, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour over pasta. Let cool to room temperature then add scallions, pine nuts, feta and basil. Serve at room temperature.