I have a terrible case of cabin fever. Here in Chicago the temperature has been very, very low and the weather has provided snow on top of snow. It’s enough to make anyone go mad. Especially one with a child and lives in a condo. I had no choice but to get out of town.
My husband had some work in Cincinnati, so I decided to pack up the car, grab my daughter, and leave before the next snowstorm was supposed to hit. When I arrived 5 hours later, I stepped out to a balmy 55 degrees! That’s what I’m talking about. No snow, no freezing wind, just a warm and inviting temp.
Quinn gets especially happy to see her cousins. She adores them and can’t seem to get enough. She mimics everything her older cousin Morgan does. Monkey see, monkey do. It’s pretty amusing for me to watch. They all run in circles for hours on end until they nearly pass out from exhaustion at the end of the day. I wish she could play with them every day, but we could only be so lucky.
When I am there I always like to make a meal for the family. It gives me a chance to try new recipes on a group of people that will give me their honest opinion. I was craving some Mediterranean flavors, but also wanted something easy. Tossing together some things with Orzo was easy enough for me.
Orzo is actually a pasta that looks very much like rice. I love using it for different types of pasta salads. It was perfect in this dish.
Warm Mediterranean Pasta Salad
1 box Orzo pasta
4 c fresh baby spinach
2 c cherry tomatoes
1 medium eggplant
1 c crumbled feta cheese
1/4 c kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 Tb Balsamic Vinegar
4 Tb Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and cut eggplant into 1″ cubes. Toss eggplant and tomatoes in 2 Tb olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and season with salt & pepper. Spread on a cookie sheet and cook until well roasted, about 40 minutes.
With 10 minutes remaining, begin boiling 2 qt of water for Orzo. Season with salt. When water is boiling, add orzo and cook until tender. Strain and place in serving dish. Stir in olive oil, then add roasted vegetables, cheese, olives, and fresh spinach. Serve immediately.