Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tuesday Recipe: Orzo & Roasted Veggie Bake

(served in my grandma's china)
My momma does not claim to be a "good cook." Where she gets this, I'll never know because she learned from her mother who was a wonderful Southern cook. Perhaps, it's that perceived mystery where everything Mom makes tastes so much better, including PB&J. 

Somewhere amid her cookbooks and notebooks and recipe box with cards dating back to before I was born, Mom found this. The flavors just work and, because we are a Lou'siana family, we add fresh Gulf Shrimp! No leftovers, guaranteed.

Orzo & Roasted Veggie Bake

1 lb/bunch Asparagus, trimmed to 1" pieces (do not use the fibrous, woody cut-end)
3 Bell Peppers, diced - red, green and orange makes a dish tasty to the eyes
6 Green Onions OR 1 Vidalia Onion, diced
1 medium Zucchini, round-sliced
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, whole, OR Cherry Toms, halved
4 T Olive Oil, divided
1-2 cloves of Garlic, crushed or minced
1 tablespoon Greek or Italian Seasoning
S&P, to taste
1 cup dry Orzo (I found whole wheat, but have used the other, too)
2 cups Vegetable Broth
3/4 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
*optional: shrimp

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prep veggies. Toss well with 2 T of Olive Oil, garlic, seasoning, S&P.
  • Roast seasoned veggies on parchment or Silpat (easy cleaning) for 30 minutes or until tender.
  • While veggies roast, sauté dry orzo in remaining olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet until brown. This gives the orzo a nutty, earthy flavor. The process reminded me of the old Rice-a-Roni!
  • Add broth, bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid cooking until liquid is absorbed.
  • Add cooked orzo to roasted veggies (and shrimp, if
    using). Gently mix well.
  • Pour into a large casserole dish.
  • Sprinkle Feta cheese over top. Cover with foil. 
  • Bake 30-ish minutes, making sure shrimp is cooked.
  • Serve hot with an extra sprinkling of Feta + a good Olive Bread and seasoned olive oil for dipping!

**Swap in any veggies you prefer: Diced Butternut squash, Brussel Sprouts, Parsnips or Carrots!
**Omitting the shrimp and Feta makes this vegan or Plant-based.
**Let your taste create a new dish with the meat of your choice, but you'll need to know when to add the meat.
**Our side was Graber Olives from California. I found them, again, in Tennessee at The Fresh Martket!

Play with your food!

What's your take on this recipe? 
Have you ever served dipping olive oil?

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