Grilled vegetable-and-orzo salad

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PREP TIME

25 min

Makes

8 to 10 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 8 minutes, Grilling Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups uncooked orzo , about 500 g
  • 2 small slim eggplants
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 400-g container feta , or 3 cups crumbled feta
  • 6 green onions
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts , optional

Instructions

  • Lightly oil grill and preheat barbecue to medium-high. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in orzo and return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain well, then rinse under cold water. Drain again and place in a large bowl.
  • While orzo is cooking, slice eggplants lengthwise into 1/2-inch- (1-cm-) thick slices. Core and seed peppers, then slice into quarters. Finely mince garlic and place in a small bowl. Stir in oil, salt and pepper. Lightly brush mixture all over eggplant slices and peppers. Save any remaining garlic mixture. Place vegetables on barbecue. Grill with lid closed until eggplants are just tender and peppers are lightly charred, from 3 to 4 minutes per side for eggplant and about 4 minutes per side for peppers. Remove to a cutting board and let cool a little. Meanwhile, drain feta, if necessary, then crumble. When crumbled, feta should measure about 3 cups (750 mL).
  • Slice grilled eggplants and peppers into bite-size pieces. Thinly slice green onions diagonally. Add vegetables to bowl with orzo. Stir in feta and any leftover garlic mixture. Pour lemon juice overtop and mix well. If serving right away, stir in mint and pine nuts, if using. Taste and add salt, if needed. Leftovers will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 267,
  • Protein
  • 9.1 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 32.9 g,
  • Fat
  • 11.4 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3.3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 389 mg.

Farm-fresh vegetables are delicious lightly charred on the barbie. Inspired by a recipe in Sarah Leah Chase’s Cold-Weather Cooking (Workman), we’ve tossed them into an orzo salad with creamy feta, a hint of lemon and refreshing mint.

Make ahead

Prepare salad but do not add mint and pine nuts. Cover salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days. Before serving, bring salad to room temperature. Then taste and stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 mL) olive oil if salad has become dry and a squeeze of lemon juice, if needed, to perk up flavour. Then stir in mint and pine nuts, if using.