Monday, May 3, 2010

Roasted Vegetables with Orzo

Before my family visited me a week ago, I spent a lot of time working on menus for the week. I figured we would alternate eating dinner out and eating dinner at home each night. It's pretty interesting cooking for my family, my dad eats fish and limits meat to once a week, my mom eats shellfish and beef, my sister and I eat a little poultry, and our husbands eat it all. When you construct a venn diagram of all our protein preferences, the only overlap seems to be.... vegetarian!
Now before you feel bad for my mom having to cook for this dysfunctional eating family, rest assured that our current preferences are somewhat new, and growing up we ate whatever she prepared. Sorry, mom, no sympathy here :)
And while vegetarian seems to be the easy way out, it's actually the way my family now prefers to eat, which makes me really happy. So I spent the better part of April searching for and creating some great vegetarian menus, and when I stumbled across this dish, it sounded perfect. My dad loves pasta, my sister and mom love eggplant, I eat whole bell peppers like apples, and we're all big goat cheese fans!  This was a great dish, very simple, clean and healthy. I made a few changes, including subbing goat cheese for feta, reducing the amount of oil and omitting the scallions, Kristine's (raw-onion-pregnancy-aversion) preference. I also added zucchini, and would maybe even add more vegetables in the future, or make it a more wintry dish by using only root vegetables.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

1 eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
2 small zucchini, 1-inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. EVOO
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 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:
1/4 cup pignolis, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
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.


Sophie @ yumventures said...

I have also recently been listing and making a ton of vegetarian dishes. Especially for the summer, I find them so much lighter and refreshing. I love that your family shares a love for veggies, my boyfriend is such a meat eater, its hard to get around it!!

Robyn said...

I've made this recipe before actually (but with feta instead of goat cheese) and it's so delish. Always a crowd pleaser!

Dawn said...

I have been loving vegetarian too lately. (And of course I ALWAYS love anything with goat cheese. Yum!)

Anonymous said...

YUMMM! Looks sooo delicious! Perfect dish for the warm weather!

Tasha said...

Sounds wonderful!

Simply Life said...

oh this recipe looks delicious!

Joanne said...

You think you could tell your family to talk to my family about eating vegetarian?

This looks delicious! Something my mom and I would LOVE. My dad would for sure be asking where the meat was. Infuriating.