Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mediterranean Orzo (You'll Forget It's Vegetarian!)

Every ingredient my friend, Julie, touches turns to edible gold. I've never eaten anything from her that I didn't want to take home and snuggle. I am slightly biased because our food perspective is pretty much the same; we both love to take fresh ingredients and turn them into colorful, healthy dishes. But since she does it better than I do, I find myself really excited and inspired by what comes out of her kitchen.

You love Julie, too! You love her because she introduced me to this knock-out pasta and I'm now sharing it with you. Of all the vegetarian dishes she makes, this is her husband's favorite, and now I know why. Lots of color, little bit of sweet from the bell peppers, little bit of bite from the red onions, little bit of citrus from freshly squeezed lemon juice, savory garlic, crunchy pine nuts, crispy green onions, soft feta, can be served warm, cold, or room temperature... da-dee-da-da-da-LAAAAAAA! 

Just look at the beauties I started off with.
I used 3 green, 2 red, 1 yellow bell pepper, and 1 large red onion.

Here's what they look like when you lean in closer to get a better look.

Here's what they look like shuffling down a crowded NYC sidewalk... wearing olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

And here's what they look like stopped at the corner waiting for the go-ahead to cross the street.

Aaaaand, here's the recipe. Julie's version.  :)
Mediterranean Orzo With Roasted Vegetables Julie's version, with notes from Janna
Serves 6-8

6 Bell Peppers, 1 inch diced
1-2 Red Onions, 1 inch diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 15-ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed thoroughly, and dried with a paper towel. 
1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (Requires 1 1/2-2 lemons)
4 scallions minced, green and white
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1/3-3/4 cup of feta (depending on how much you prefer. Julie adds less, I add a bit more.)
15 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (Here's a great little tutorial on how to chiffonade by The Pioneer Woman.)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Toss together the first 6 ingredients and roast for 40 min, turning once. (Since oven temperatures tend to vary, keep an eye on the veggies and don't be afraid to pull them out earlier if you think you should. You don't want them to come out burned or limp.)
In the meantime, place the garbanzo beans on a separate pan, drizzle them lightly with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roll them around to get a nice, even coating and place them in the oven when there's about 15 minutes to go on the vegetables. 

Once those are in the oven, cook 1 box orzo pasta in boiling salted water. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Add roasted veggies to pasta, scraping liquid and seasonings in. Add the lemon juice and a splash of olive oil if dry. Allow to cool to room temp.

Then add the remaining ingredients and season with extra salt and pepper as needed.

1 comment:

  1. Are you trying to flatter me because you know I read your blog? Because it worked! :) Love this recipe! Still want to try...ALL the recipes on this blog.