Roasted Veggies with Lemon Garlic Orzo

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Do you like vegetables? I’ve had a love/hate relationship with them for most of my life. It wasn’t until I was well into my 20’s before I realized you could make vegetables taste good based on how you prepared them. Except broccoli – broccoli is still my arch nemesis. That little crusty tree will not be be found in my house unless it is blended up and masked in a green smoothie that someone else has bottled and prepared for me! Bleh! Now, with that being said I think broccoli has awesome nutrients and is very beneficial for you. I just have to have mine hidden in a green smoothie of sorts 🙂

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Now, back to the yummy veggie talk! I like to season and roast vegetables or saute them. In this particular recipe I chop them all up and roast them with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Another tid bit of info about me: I don’t like fresh tomatoes, but I like them prepared any other way. Roasted, cooked, stewed, sun dried, fried, you name it! Just not fresh. Weird, right?

Now to the good part. After the veggies have roasted you’re going to prepare some orzo. First, you are going to lightly toast the orzo in a pan with a bit of olive oil. Then you are going to add in some vegetable stock. Cover and simmer until the orzo is tender. Once tender remove from heat and set aside.

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While the orzo cooks you are going to prepare and simple dressing of olive oil, lemon and garlic.

After the orzo has finished cooking and the dressing has been prepared – take the roasted veggies and mix in with the orzo. Add in the dressing and feta and top with fresh basil. Easy Peas-y!

This dish works great as the main course or as a side dish. Personally I like to have it as it is for lunch or as a side at dinner with some baked fish.

Ingredients

For the Orzo and Veggies:

  • 1/3 Cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1.5 Cup button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 Cup mix of red, yellow and orange baby bell peppers, de-seeded and diced 
  • 12oz fresh green beans cut into 1 inch pieces 
  • 12oz cherry tomatoes cut in 1/2
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 Cup shallot, chopped
  • 3T extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Cup orzo
  • 1.5 Cup vegetable broth 
  • 1/2 Cup feta, crumbled

For the Dressing:

For the Garnish:

  • 2-3T chopped fresh basil

Directions

Roast the Veggies:

  • Pre-heat oven to 425F. Line 1-2 two sheet pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lightly spray or coat with extra virgin olive oil. Place the chopped and/or diced mushrooms, bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes and shallot on one pan. Sprinkle with 2 Tbs of olive oil and the 2 tsp of minced garlic. Using a spatula, mix all the veggies together with the olive oil and minced garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then stir again. Move half of the veggie mixture to the other sheet pan (if 2nd sheet pan is needed). Spread the veggies in one layer, making sure there’s no overlapping on both pans. Roast in oven at 425F for 35-40 minutes. Some possible charring is fine (and yummy). Rotate pans half way through roasting to ensure evenness. Keep an eye on the veggies – due to variants in ovens and how thick the veggies are chopped/diced – cooking times may vary.

Cook the Orzo:

  • In a large saute pan, heat 1T of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat until simmering. Add the orzo and stir, coating the orzo thoroughly. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until the orzo is toasty and lightly golden. Add the vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer, turn down the heat to low and cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Make the Dressing:

  • In a small bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Put it Together:

  • In the large pan that the orzo is in, add the roasted veggies, stir in the dressing, feta, and almonds. Garnish with basil. Serve immediately and enjoy! Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge.
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