Baked Orzo with Eggplant and Tomatoes

All I have to say about this recipe is YUM! Lots of ingredient prep, but what a delicious dinner! 

ingredients

1 large eggplant, cut into a 3/4” dice

Salt and Pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1 medium carrot, cut into a 1/4” dice

1 celery stalk, in a 1/4” dice

1 medium onion, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

8 ounces orzo

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 to 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

4 ounces mozzarella

1 1/2 ounces parmesan

3 medium tomatoes, diced

instructions

Salt your eggplant generously and place in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse it and pat it dry.

Preheat your oven to 350. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and eggplant. Fry for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer them to a paper towel to drain. Add the celery and carrots to the pan and cook for 3 minutes, then add the onion and garlic. Cook these ingredients together for 5 minutes more on medium heat. Stir in the orzo and tomato paste and stir it all together, cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the oregano, mozzarella, parmesan, tomatoes, fried eggplant, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of salt, black pepper to taste and the vegetable stock. Mix this all together well. 

Transfer the mixture to an 8x11 baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes. Summertime comfort food at its best!

Recipe via smittenkitchen.com

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