Orzo, Eggplant and Feta Salad

Orzo, Eggplant and Feta Salad

This recipe surprises with the deep flavor of the roasted eggplants contrasting with the tangy feta cheese and lemony olive oil dressing. It doesn’t take a lot of ingredients to prepare this light and a rewarding vegetarian dish. It’s rather a main course than a salad on the side and I get the same reaction from anyone who tries it – more, please! 

Yield:  4-6 servings

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Tip: Do not cut the eggplant into too small cubes, they shrink a lot during roasting!

US MeasuresMetric
  • 1 cup orzo pasta
  • 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus 1-2 Tbsp to sprinkle over dish
  • 2 cups eggplant, diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 2-3 Tbsp black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and diced, use good quality from a jar
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced scallions
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 2 Tbsp shredded basil
  • 1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 190 g orzo pasta
  • 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus 1-2 Tbsp to sprinkle over dish
  • 200 g eggplant, diced into 2,5 cm cubes
  • 2-3 Tbsp black olives, pitted and sliced
  • 115 g roasted red peppers, drained and diced, use good quality from a jar
  • 16 g finely sliced scallions
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 2 Tbsp shredded basil
  • 55 g cubed feta cheese
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Sprinkle salt all over the eggplant cubes and let them drain in a colander for 30 minutes. In the meantime cook orzo in salted water according to package directions. Drain, and place it into a bowl. Toss orzo with one tablespoon of olive oil and let it cool. Once the 30 minutes have elapsed, run eggplant quickly under water to remove the salt. Blot eggplant cubes dry with paper towels.

Preheat oven at 400ºF/200ºC.

Spread eggplant cubes on a baking sheet and brush it with  2 tablespoons of olive oil on all sides. Salt and pepper eggplant. Bake for 15 minutes or until they start getting golden on the top. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

While the eggplant is roasting mix orzo, olives, scallions, roasted peppers, dill, mint, basil, and feta in a large serving bowl. Make a dressing of the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Just before serving add the diced eggplant and adjust seasonings if necessary.

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