Orzo with Roasted Veggies
Looking for something to make for a party or a potluck? Are you tired of traditional pasta or potato salad? With roasted, tender veggies and filling starchy orzo, this recipe is a simple complement to spice up any spread!
Every time that I’ve made this dish, people ask me for the recipe and I’m always surprised because I never feel like I’ve made anything special. It’s such an easy thing to put together that I actually feel guilty taking compliments on it. The funny thing is, I’m not sure if a recipe was ever written; it’s just something my mom started making for cookouts or family gatherings as a nice hearty side. Essentially, you chop up veggies, coat them in the good stuff (olive oil) with salt and pepper, then roast them and add them to cooked orzo.
Let’s talk about toppings for a minute. Feta cheese is one of my favorite cheeses, so naturally, I go out of my way to get the best that I can find. Believe it or not, I prefer French feta to Greek feta (except for when I’m actually in Greece!). It’s usually a little creamier and not QUITE as salty. My favorite brand of French feta is Valbreso; you can find it in some grocery stores by the brick, but they charge an arm and leg for it! Pro tip: head to the Mediterranean Food Imports just north of Ohio State - they sell a container of 6 bricks for around $12. With a salty brine keeping the feta fresh, you can store the tin in your fridge for awhile without it going bad.
If you’re dairy intolerant (I’m so sorry!), you can keep the feta on the side for others to add on their own. If you’re not a fan of feta (I’m also so sorry!), you can try this recipe with goat cheese or parmesan.
Orzo with Roasted Veggies
With colorful veggies and hearty orzo, this recipe is the perfect complement for any occasion!
Serves: 10 (as a side)
- 1 eggplant
- 2 red peppers
- 1 green pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 1 red onion
- 1 lb orzo
- Olive oil
- Feta (optional, but highly recommended)
- Preheat oven at 375 with the rack in the middle.
- Chop eggplant, peppers, and red onion into large chunks (about 1 inch squares).
- Place vegetables on sheet pan and generously season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. You may need to use two sheet pans so that the vegetables have room to breathe.
- Roast vegetables in the oven for an hour, tossing them around on the sheet pan(s) around the thirty minute mark.
- While the vegetables are in the oven, cook orzo in salted water according to package instructions. Drain and place orzo in a large mixing bowl with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- When the vegetables are done cooking, add them to the bowl of orzo and gently toss with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix in crumbled feta and serve at room temperature.