Roasted Tomato, Feta & Basil Orzo Enjoyed some quality time away this weekend

Roasted Tomato, Feta & Basil Orzo Enjoyed some quality time away this weekend with one of my closest childhood friends for her bachelorette. The setting was dreamy and I had the pleasure of cooking for an al fresco picnic and dinner for the group. This week I’ll be sharing some of the dishes I prepared, starting with this pasta salad.. a summer favorite for sure!

I find making this the night before really allows the flavors to meld together overnight. Juicy roasted tomatoes with olive oil and seasonings creates a developed juice to add into the orzo. Separately I made a sauce composed of olive oil, lemon juice, white wine, garlic and pine nuts to put on top. The feta is added in when the orzo is hot, to add some creaminess, and then again with a heavier hand the day of for the cold prep. Lots of fresh torn basil, lemon squeeze and some more olive oil and sea salt for serving!

Ingredients:
– 1 lb orzo pasta
– 2 pints cherry tomatoes
– olive oil
– salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, dried thyme, garlic powder
– 4 cloves garlic
– juice + zest from 1 lemon
– handful pine nuts
– 1/8 cup white wine
– lots of feta
– handful fresh basil

In a baking dish, place cherry tomatoes and generously season with salt, pepper, thyme, Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Drizzle a good helping of olive oil and nestle in some garlic cloves. Bake at 400 for 35 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and juices have released. Cook orzo in salted water until al dente— drain. Add orzo, tomatoes, and 1 cup feta to a large bowl. In a small sauce pan heat some olive oil, minced garlic, lemon zest, juice from 1/2 lemon, and white wine and cook for 5 minutes. Add pine nuts and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour this over the orzo mixture. Add some torn basil- stir to combine and refrigerate overnight. Next day, toss to combine and add more lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, zest. Another cup or more of feta and lots of fresh basil.