Baked Orzo with Mozzarella + Eggplant
Why we love it:
- 1 Eggplant
- 1⁄4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1 Carrot
- 1 rib Celery
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 11⁄2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Lemon (zest)
- 4 ounces Mozzarella (shredded) (or the soft block not packed in water)
- 1⁄2 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
- 11⁄2 cups Vegetable Stock
- 8 ounces Orzo Pasta
- 1 15-ounce can Diced Tomatoes
- 4 cups Spring Mix Salad Greens
- 2 Tablespoons Salad Dressing
1. PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 350°F
Dice the eggplant into ½” pieces. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat with the oil and once hot, add the eggplant. Fry for 6 minutes, stirring pieces occasionally.
Dice the onion, carrot, and celery in small dice. Mince the garlic. After the eggplant cooks, add the other veggies. Add salt, dried oregano, and the zest of the lemon.
Cook for 3 minutes.
Grate or dice the mozzarella and set aside. Grate the parmesan if needed.
5. TOMATO + ORZO
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Finally, add the orzo, stock, and diced tomato. Bring to a simmer.
Transfer mixture to an 8 × 11-inch (about 2 quarts) baking dish; add ½ of the cheese and stir a little bit, then settle the ingredients into a flat surface. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil, add the remaining cheese on top and bake 20 minutes longer without the foil.
Toss clean lettuce with dressing of choice. Scoop out a serving and add to bowls. Garnish with extra parmesan if desired and serve with salad.