Cooking the Books: Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Last summer, after watching one too many of her cooking shows, I went Barefoot Contessa CRAZY and bought nearly all of her cookbooks, including Barefoot Contessa Parties, which is where I came across this wonderful recipe. There are many gems to be found in her books – some have nice European influences and many are straightforward and easy to make. She has several good recipes available on the Barefoot Contessa website, and also themed menus (but they’re pretty naff).

This (lightly adapted) recipe would go down a treat at any BBQ party, or with a summer roast such as this boneless leg of lamb, or any grilled fish dish – I like to have it with grilled salmon and a tangy grilled lemon vinaigrette. Heck, you could eat it by itself and be perfectly content!

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Ina Garten’s Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

You’ll need:
(serves 6)

1 eggplant, 1 inch diced (don’t worry about the size of the eggplant, you can never have too much)
1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced
1 courgette, 1 inch diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3  cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
225 grams or 1/2 pound of orzo

For the dressing:
Juice of half a lemon
1/3 1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To finish:
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

All of this colour is quite inspirational when you're cooking this dish, and the flavours are scrumptious!

All these colours is quite inspirational when you’re cooking, and the flavours are scrumptious!

Method:

❤️ Preheat the oven to 220°C/425° F. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl to make sure it is all evenly coated, then distribute as a flat layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes or 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 dish.

❤️  Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the dish.

❤️  If you are making this in advance, then you can leave the following step until you are about to serve.  For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper sand pour half of it on the pasta and vegetables, mix in. For some, this might be enough dressing as there is so much flavour in the veggies. If you feel it needs more, add to taste.

❤️  Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pine nuts and basil. Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.

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A truly tasty pasta salad that will go with pretty much anything!

 ❤️ ❤️  Enjoy ❤️ ❤️

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One thought on “Cooking the Books: Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

  1. Pingback: Cooking The Books: Easy Grilled Salmon with Grilled Lemon Vinaigrette | LoveBites

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