Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

Now that it’s just about summer it’s time for pasta salads!  I have always wanted to make an orzo salad so last weekend when we were home with a sick baby, we made this Orzo with Roasted Vegetables for a side dish with hamburgers.  It was great!  Here is the recipe…

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
from Barefoot Contessa Parties

1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4-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
1/3 C good olive oil
1 1/2 Tsp kosher salt
1/2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb orzo or rice-shaped pasta

For the dressing
1/3 C freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/3 C good olive oil
1 Tsp kosher salt
1/2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 C pignolis (pine nuts), toasted (we eliminated these)
3/4 lb good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled) (we used 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.

Enjoy!

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