An Ina Garten recipe from her cookbook Barefoot Contessa Parties!
A delicious, all-purpose side dish
For the Roasted Vegetables:
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
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 lb. dry orzo
For the Dressing:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3/4 lb. good feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic
with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30
minutes, until browned, watching the vegetables closely to avoid burning. Turn once
with a spatula.
Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 – 9 minutes, until tender. Drain
and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Add the roasted vegetables to the orzo, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the
roasting pan into the bowl.
For the dressing, use a separate jar or bowl. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt,
and pepper, adding additional olive oil if preferred. Pour the dressing on the pasta and
vegetables. Let cool to room temperature, then add the scallions, pine nuts, feta, and
basil. Check the seasonings and add pepper and salt to taste. Serve at room temperature.