Orzo Salad With Roasted Vegetables – A Nephew’s Request

Orzo Salad With Roasted Vegetables – A Nephew’s Request

When your 18-year old nephew actually takes the time to write you an email, out of the blue, to ask you for the Orzo Salad with Roasted Vegetables recipe, you know it’s a gooooood salad. So good that i wasn’t surprised that he asked for the recipe. I was, however, a bit puzzled as to how he would cook it in college, in his dormitory. Does he have a pot? measuring cup and spoons? chopping knife and board?? I don’t remember ever cooking during my freshman year of college. I think i survived on pizza and Taco Bell, and frequent trips back home for home-cooked meals.

2 years ago my nephew came to the Netherlands to visit us for the holidays, and without doubt I knew i had to make him his favorite orzo salad (a double batch no less) for his first meal. I think deep down inside he was hoping for some roasted vegetable orzo salad during his visit, and I certainly couldn’t disappoint. Sometimes it just tastes better when someone else makes it for you, especially when that someone else is your favorite auntie. Right, MR??

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa.

Orzo Salad With Roasted Vegetables

: 6
: 1 hr
: Easy

A delicious salad at any time. Serve it at room temperature or chilled. Tastes even better the next day.


  • 1/2 pound orzo pasta
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1/2 pound good feta cheese
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (220 Celsius).
  • Step 2 MAKE THE MARINADE FOR THE VEGGIES: In a small bowl whisk together 1/3 cup good olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
  • Step 3 In a large bowl add in all the diced bell peppers and onions. Pour in the marinade (from step 2) and toss evenly. Then spread the vegetables onto a large baking sheet and roast for 20-30 mInutes, turning once.
  • Step 4 Meanwhile cook the orzo in boiling water for 7-9 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Step 5 MAKE THE DRESSING: In a separate small bowl combine all 4 dressing ingredients together. Whisk vigorously until a bit thickened. Set aside.
  • Step 6 In a large bowl add the cooked orzo and the roasted vegetables (scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the bowl). Toss in the dressing (from step 5) until well combined. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Step 7 FINAL ASSEMBLY: Add in the scallions, feta and basil.
  • Step 8 TIP: If you make this salad in advance you can liven it up right before serving with a quick stir and a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.