Roasted Vegetable and Orzo Salad

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and 3/4-inch diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound orzo
  • 32 oz. Chicken Broth
  • For the Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Finishing touches:
  • 4 green onions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 pound good feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. combine the chopped eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

While vegetables are cooking, bring salted chicken broth to a boil in a medium pot . Add orzo and  cook for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.

Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

IMG_2521

For the dressing, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables. Let cool to room temperature or refrigerate.

Just before serving, add the green onions, pine nuts, feta, and basil. Can be served at room temperature or refrigerated.

Enjoy!

Note: I adapted this delicious side dish recipe from Ina Garten.  I originally found it in my now dog-eared Barefoot Contessa Parties! recipe book.  I love almost every recipe in this publication.  Thank you Ina!

Psst! You can boil the orzo in water instead of chicken broth if you want to go vegetarian.

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Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

DFTSI Summer Peach and Tomato Salad_6482

Savor every last bit of summer with this delightful combination of ripe summer peaches and fresh tomatoes. This beautiful salad is both simple and delicious. The tart accents of balsamic vinegar and the sweet peaches are devine!
Servings: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

Ingredients
1 large (or two small) peach sliced into wedges (select ones that are just a little bit firm, not too soft)
1 handful of cherry tomatoes sliced into quarters
4-5 fresh mint  or basil leaves chopped (slice them with scissors)
¼ cup  good EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/8 cup good balsamic vinegar (I like 41 Olive’s lemon-infused balsamic, apricot-infused balsamic))
¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
Salt and Pepper

Directions
Arrange the nectarine and tomato slices on a platter.
Drizzle with oil and vinegar followed by the nuts and mint.
Sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Note: You can chop fruit and plate it up to an hour in advance but wait to dress it and add mint just before serving.  You can also serve this salad on individual salad plates or a family platter.

DFTSI Summer Peach and Tomato Salad_6484

Best Caesar Dressing

ceasar dressing2

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Lemons
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise (I like to use grapeseed vegonnaise)

Instructions:

1. Zest the lemons to get 1Tablespoon of lemon zest.  Then cut the lemons in half.

2. Peel and finely mince the garlic.

3. Place the garlic in a small bowl with the vinegar.

4. Using a citrus squeezer, squeeze three of the lemon halves and add to the garlic and vinegar mixture.

5. Add the lemon zest.

6. Whisk in mayonnaise until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I love this light and lemony dressing.  It is delicious on a Caesar Salad made with either chicken or salmon.   This makes enough for four meal-sized salads. Slice the remaining 1/2 lemon into wedges and place on side of each plate.

chicken ceasar salad

Caesar Salad with Salmon and Oven-Toasted Sourdough Croutons

Caesar Salad with Salmon and Oven-Toasted Sourdough Croutons

Ceasar Salad with Seared Salmon

Makes: 2 Servings

It is rare that my oldest daughter is home and we get to cook together.  Yesterday was one of those treats.  Together we whipped up a delicious Caesar Salad and turned it into a hearty entree by adding a flakey, pan seared salmon fillet and homemade croutons. The creamy dressing is light and tangy.  This is an easy dinner prepared in less than 30 minutes.   We enjoyed it out on the back patio.  The meal together was heaven on earth!

Ingredients

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Refreshing Tomato Cucumber and Onion Salad

tomato cucumber and onion salad

Easy and refreshing, this quick salad recipe is great for summer.  I love to mix up the tomatoes for a unique twist.  It takes just 5 minutes to prepare and is big on tangy flavor.  Include it at your next BBQ!

 

Tomato Cucumber and Onion Salad

Ingredients

Approximately 1 pound of tomatoes (I like  small heirloom tomatoes, combined with grape and cherry tomatoes, quartered or  halved lengthwise depending on the size)
1/4 red onion (or sweet Maui Onion) peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 Kirby cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
A generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, about 2 tablespoons
1 splashes red wine vinegar
1 splash of apple cider vinegar
Coarse salt and black pepper

Directions

Dress the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil,  vinegars, salt, and pepper.

Let stand to allow onions to mellow and flavors to blend, about 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve salad with crusty bread for mopping up juices and oil.

Zesty Lime Avocado and Shrimp Salad

Zesty Lime Avocado and Shrimp Salad

Zesty Lime Avocado and Shrimp Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt, black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb jumbo cooked, peeled shrimp, chopped*
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 medium hass avocado, diced (about 5 oz)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, diced fine
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro

Directions:

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Nectarine and Tomato Salad

nectarine and tomato salad

Nectarine and Tomato Salad

2-3 nectarines sliced into wedges (select ones that are just a little bit firm, not too soft)

2-3 tomatoes sliced into wedges

4-5 fresh mint leaves chopped (I like to slice them with a scissors)

¼ cup  good EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

1/8 cup good balsamic vinegar (I like 41 Olive’s lemon-infused balsamic)

¼ cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts

Salt and Pepper

 

Arrange the nectarine and tomato slices in a circle on a round platter overlapping them slightly.

Drizzle with oil and vinegar followed by the nuts and mint.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

 

Note: you can also serve this salad on individual plates if you prefer.Nectarine and Tomato Salad