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two small bowls of roasted vegetable orzo salad

Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 mains, 8-10 sides
  • Category: Lunch, Dinner

Description

This delicious Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad with Basil Vinaigrette is so packed with flavor! It is fantastic on it’s own or topped with grilled protein.  Omit the cheese it you want to make it dairy free! It will definitely be a crowd pleaser! Enjoy!!


Ingredients

For the salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups dried orzo pasta
  • 2 small zucchinis seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large bunch asparagus, stemmed and chopped into bite size pieces (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt + Pepper
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, plus more for topping

For the vinaigrette

  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Salt + Pepper

Instructions

For the orzo:

1.     Cook the orzo per the package directions.  Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool.

For the roasted vegetables:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425F.
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In one bowl, combine the diced red onion/bell pepper with 2 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), season with salt + pepper. In a second bowl, combine the zucchini/asparagus with the remaining EVOO, season with salt + pepper.
  4. Add both pans to your pre-heated oven and set the timer for 25 minutes.  After 10-12 minutes, remove the zucchini/asparagus.  Keep an eye on the onion/pepper mixture*.
  5. Once the veggies are roasted, set aside to cool.

For the vinaigrette:

  1. In a blender or mini food processor, combine basil leaves, grated garlic, green onions, EVOO, red wine vinegar and salt + pepper. Blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer the vinaigrette to a jar. ** see note

For the salad:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cooked & cooled orzo, roasted vegetables and feta cheese.  Start of by drizzling about 3/4 of your basil vinaigrette and mix thoroughly (see note*).  Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt + pepper.  Top with additional feta cheese.

Notes

* The reason you remove the asparagus/zucchini mixture beforehand is simply because these veggies take less time to cook. If you overcook them they will become mushy and lose their flavor.  Your onion/peppers mixture on the other hand will have a nice caramelized flavor.
**I used about 3/4 of the vinaigrette recipe for my salad.  You can absolutely use all of it but I suggest starting with that amount and tasting as you go.  Use the leftover vinaigrette for dipping veggies, topping grilled meat or adding to leftover orzo salad during the week if it becomes a little dry.