Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Perfect Summer Fare

Perfect Summer fare for picnics or potlucks -- summertime events -- is The Barefoot Contessa's Orzo with Roasted Vegetables. Fresh vegetables are abundant at the Farmer's Market and the eggplant, peppers and onions that this dish calls for can be found among the stalls at the market.

It's a dish with an oil dressing rather than a mayonnaise one which makes it a perfect dish for picnics or potlucks. It travels well.
I make this often in the summer -- both for us and for when I need to take a dish.
When I take it to potlucks, I always bring home an empty dish. Plus . . . it's the only one on the table. Not one of many (as potato salads or coleslaws often are)
Not only is it easy. Not only does it taste good. It's a pretty dish as well.

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables
(Barefoot Contessa Parties)

1 small eggplant, peeled and 3/4 inch diced
1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
1 yellow bellpepper, 1 inch diced
1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound orzo

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemons)
1/3 cup good olive oil
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper.

To Assemble:
4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 pound good feta, 1/2 inch diced (not crumbled)
15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

Preheat the oven to 425.

Toss the eggplant, 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, pine nuts, feta and basil. Check the seasonings and serve at room temperature.


imjacobsmom said...

Oh Boy, this is a great dish. I am definitely saving this to my favorites. You're right, it is pretty and it sound delicious. ~ Robyn

Mary Bergfeld said...

This is one terrific dish. It's hard to beat this combination of flavors.

Unknown said...

Love the Barefoot Contessa's recipes. Will have to try this one.

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

Ina's recipes are always home runs! Would love to be a guest at her table!!!

Southerncook said...

This salad is a favorite of mine as well for summer time fare.


Comfrey Cottages said...

this sounds awesome! thanks for sharing it! yum! :)

Bill said...

Hi Martha,
You always show us the BEST looking dishes. I bet this is as delicious as it looks. Your husband's a very lucky man!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving the nice comment. Always great to hear from you!

Cathy said...

This is one of my favorite summer dishes. We can always count on Ina's recipes.

This is perfect for the HOT weather here.