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June 24, 2008

Panino is one sandwich.
Panini are many sandwiches.

That is what we ate for supper.  Along with Barefoot Contessa’s orzo salad.

Crusty bread from the bakery.
Honey with dry mustard stirred into it.
Sliced avocado.
Grilled like grilled cheese on a fry pan because we do not have a panini maker.

Barefoot Contessa’s Orzo Salad

  • small eggplant, peeled and 3/4 inch diced (This guy told me to replace eggplant with zucchini, so that’s what I did)
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1 inch diced
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1 inch diced
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lb orzo pasta 

For the dressing

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • zest from the two lemons 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

To assemble

  • 4 green onions, minced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (pine nuts)
  • 3/4 lb good feta, 1/2 inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, and garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.

Add the roasted vegetables to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the pasta bowl.

For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper and pour on the pasta and vegetables.

Let cool to room temperature, then add the green onions, pine nuts, feta, and basil.


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