Delicious orzo salad with grilled veggies (chef Heather Poire)
1 cup dry orzo (a rice-shaped pasta)
1 medium eggplant
2 cups tri color peppers
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 cups total of the following mixed herbs: thyme, tarragon, arugula, basil, oregano, winter savory, chives
2 1/2 lemons
2 tsp salt plus more for finishing
1/4 cup olive oil + a drizzle for veggies
Cook the orzo according to package directions, drain and set aside in a medium mixing bowl
While the orzo is cooking, slice the eggplant in rounds, place rounds on a paper towel and salt both sides. Allow eggplant to drain on the paper towels, this helps remove some of the bitterness eggplant can sometimes have. Meanwhile cube the peppers in large bite sized pieces (these will shrink when grilled). Slice and dice the red onion. Cube the salted and drained eggplant rounds.
Place the veggies on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and toss lightly coating all sides of the veggies, sprinkle with salt. Grill (grill set to heat of 200°C), frequently tossing until veggies are golden and soft. Add the grilled veggies to the mixing bowl with the orzo.
Add the juice of 2 lemons to the mixing bowl and 1/4 cup of olive oil & salt – mix well.
Add the herbs & arugula, tearing the larger leaves into bite size pieces.
Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 lemon juice & sprinkle with a healthy pinch of salt just before serving.