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Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

This recipe is a slight variation of a wonderful summer dish invented by Sarah Leah Chase in her book The Open House Cookbook.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

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 cup good olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound orzo or rice-shaped pasta

For the dressing:

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/3 cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To assemble:

4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)

1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts), toasted

3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)

15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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