I posted a photo of this in my insta stories a few days ago as part of the meal prep I do for another family. So, per request, it will live here too. This is an older Ina Garten recipe that I changed by adding more vegetables and herbs and using a lighter hand with the dressing. My aunt used to make Ina’s version for parties and showers and it was such a hit. The leftovers keep well and go with just about any grilled protein you’d like to add to round out the meal. I like my vegetables to pasta with a 3:1 ratio, so I’ll dish this up for myself over some arugula to make a pasta salad-salad. I added a few other notes on alternatives in the recipe headnote.
I have had quite a few inquiries about meal planning, and a request for more tips on that. I’m thinking of taking on a bigger project along those lines, so stay tuned! But I hear you and I’m totally with you on wanting an easy plan to keep dinners simple, healthy-ish and tasty. I’ve gotchu… things just take me awhile these days.
ROASTED VEGETABLE ORZO
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten
Wheat-free readers, don’t write this off. There are so many gluten free pastas now, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be orzo here. Most are made from corn, and I know a number of you are sensitive to that too. You can swap in 1.5 cups cooked quinoa or cauliflower rice that you’ve just super briefly sauteed. In either case, you want to keep a bit of crunch and texture, be careful not to overcook either.
If you cannot or are not eating dairy, sub in some pitted olive for the feta to compensate for that rich, salty bite.
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 red onion
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 lb. orzo
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for roasting
- zest and juice of one lemon (about 1/4 cup) plus a splash of white vinegar if you like it zippy
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 6 ounces feta cheese, largely crumbled
- 1/3 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- 1/3 cup chopped chives
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 425′. Trim and dice the eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini and red onion into 1″ cubes. Collect the vegetables on two, large rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle the vegetables with oil, oregano, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and toss everything to coat well. Spread them in a single layer and roast for 25-30 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through, until the edges are browned. Remove to cool.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it generously. Cook the orzo according to instructions. Drain. Rinse. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let it cool. Drizzle on the oil, lemon zest and juice, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir. Add in the cooled vegetables and herbs. Stir again. Crumble in the feta cheese, season to taste (I like it sippy, so I added about 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar).
At this point you can serve it at room temperature, or keep it chilled in the fridge for up to a week.