Greek Orzo with Roasted Vegetables.
A healthy, easy and delicious side dish or even a vegetarian dinner.
Tastes great hot or cold so you can pack it up and take it along next time you have a potluck or a picnic to attend.
Oh, and don’t faint…not only is it Vegetarian, but it contains NO BUTTER!
You didn’t think I could do it, did you?
Do you eat Orzo? It’s a tiny little pasta – shaped like rice. Cooks in a flash and makes a great base for whatever vegetables, herbs or cheese you might have on hand.
I decided to go Greek with this one – feta cheese, eggplant, zucchini – but you can use whatever you like or happen to have in the fridge.
Here’s what you need:
Orzo pasta, feta cheese, eggplant, zucchini, onion, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, fresh basil or parsley, dried oregano, dried rosemary (not pictured), dried red pepper flakes (not pictured), olive oil, salt & pepper.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Since the pasta is very small, for this recipe it’s a good idea to chop the vegetables a little smaller than usual. Otherwise the little orzo will be totally overwhelmed.
Cut the ends off a small eggplant and cut the eggplant into thin slices.
Stack up the slices and cut them into thin strips. Cut across the strips to make small cubes of eggplant.
Put the diced eggplant on a foil covered baking sheet.
Cut the ends off of two small zucchini. Try to find fairly small zucchini as they will be more tender than the really giant, fat zukes. Cut the zucchini into quarters and then cut across the long strips to make small dice.
Remember that we want all the vegetables to be approximately the same size so that they will cook evenly in the oven.
Cut up a red bell pepper
And an onion
If your cherry tomatoes are really large, cut them in half. Add all the veggies to the tray.
Season the tray of vegetables with a Tablespoon each of dried oregano and dried rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I also decided at the last minute to add some red pepper flakes to spice things up a bit.
Drizzle olive oil – about 1/4 cup if you’re the measuring type – all over the vegetables.
Using your nice clean hands, get right in there and mix things up so that all of the veggies are coated lightly in the oil and herbs.
Ah, lovely veggies all ready for roasting.
Put them in a 400 degree oven for 20- 25 minutes until they are tender and have lovely little golden brown bits around the edges.
Bring a large pot of water to a boik and add handful of salt to season things up. Pour in 1-1/2 cups of orzo.
The orzo cooks very quickly – only 5 or 6 minutes. We want the orzo to be al dente – tender but still slightly firm in the middle. If you over cook orzo, you get sort of a mushy mess.
Drain the orzo and add it to a serving bowl with the roasted vegetables.
Stir in some crumbled feta cheese (about 6 ounces) and top with some cheese and some chopped fresh basil or parsley.
Quick, easy and delicious.
I served this with grilled chicken breasts. Grilled shrimp would be a tasty addition as well. OR enjoy this Greek Orzo with Roasted Vegetables all on it’s own.
Here’s the recipe!