Orzo a go go

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Pasta salads are one of my favorite things to bring to a pot luck dinner, but sometimes a regular noodle can overwhelm the ingredients of the salad, that is where orzo comes in handy.  Orzo is small enough to not overwhelm the dish but still hearty enough to amp up the dish.

For a going away party last week I decided to combine a Giada recipe for Orzo with Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette  with some roasted veggies for a more filling dish.  To start the dish I cubed eggplant (after you cube it toss it with salt in a colander and let the bitterness drain out), zucchini  and baby portabello mushrooms.  I then tossed all the veggies together with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder, but you could really use whatever spices you like best, and roasted them till they got soft, about 25 minutes at 350.

While my darling little veggies were roasting away I cooked two pounds of orzo till cook through.  Once the orzo was done I mixed it with the vinaigrette and the veggie and poured it into a baking dish, topped with some shredded mozzarella I had kicking around the fridge and baked it till the cheese melted.

baked orzo

The beauty of this dish for a pot luck is that its simple, you could swap in any veggies that you like, and everyone is guaranteed to like it!

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