Baked Orzo with Eggplant and Feta

This is a nice, fresh alternative to lasagna.  The orzo and the cheese melt together with the tomato flavors, and the lemon zest adds a nice kick.  Adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Yotam Ottolenghi.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • olive oil for frying
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250 g orzo
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1.75 c vegetable stock
  • 1.5 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • grated zest of 1 lemon (or, 1 T chopped preserved lemon)
  • 150 g feta
  • 1 c grated parmesan
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut into thin slices

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Heat 1/3 c oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, and cook aubergine, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  3. In a separate pan, heat 2 T olive oil over medium heat, and saute carrot, celery, and onion for 10 -15 minutes, until soft and golden.
  4. Add garlic and thyme, and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  5. Stir in orzo and tomato paste, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from heat, and stir in stock, cooked eggplant, lemon zest, feta, 1/2 c parmesan, and 1 t salt – combine well.
  7. Transfer to an oven proof dish, arrange tomatoes on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c parmesan.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, covered, and then an additional 20 minutes uncovered – remove from oven when all of the liquid has been absorbed and the pasta is fully cooked.

2 thoughts on “Baked Orzo with Eggplant and Feta

  1. My wife and I made a slightly modified version of this recipe last week. Instead of using eggplant (which my wife does not like), we used zucchini (green and yellow) and starburst squash. We enjoyed the out come, immensely!

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