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I know, I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted some new recipes and I apologize. I think I’ve probably mentioned a few thousand times how busy this summer has been for me, but lucky for me it’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting in bed blogging while my sweet husband makes me breakfast in bed. This is his way of giving me some time to just watch my favorite cooking shows or catch up on the blogging. We are having our famous hot cereal with fresh orange/grapefruit/carrot juice, I can’t wait!
On with the recipes: This first one is actually a dish I took to a local Public Pot Luck Picnic that was held in order to raise awareness for Congress to improve the Child Nutrition Act, which supports the need for better food in our schools. This dish is healthy, light, refreshing and very addictive if I do say so myself. It works great as a side dish for a get together and this time of year you can pick up most of the ingredients at the farmers market.

-Roasted Vegetable Orzo with a Basil Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette-

1 package orzo pasta ( I was lucky enough to find whole wheat orzo, yeah! ) cook according to directions, drain and let cool
6 medium size bell peppers ( I like to use yellow, red and orange peppers for the sweetness and color ) cut into bite size pieces
1 large or 2 medium purple onions, cut into bite size pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 large heirloom tomatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper
*optional* 1 package baby portabello mushrooms, chopped

1. Cook pasta according to directions and set aside to cool, if your in a pinch you can rinse the cooked pasta under cold water to help the cooling time.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, on a large cookie or two if you need it toss together the peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms if using with olive oil and salt and pepper.
3. Place the cookie sheets in the oven and roast for 30- 40 minutes, just until the edges are charred a little. I rotate the cookie sheets half way through the cooking time.
4. When the veggies are cooked to perfection take them out and let them cool a bit, when they have cooled toss the pasta and cooked vegetables all together in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. And when this is all tossed together I cut the heirloom tomatoes in wedges and top the orzo with these beauties.

-Lemon Basil Parmesan Vinaigrette-

2/3 c. olive oil
2/3 c. fresh lemon juice, also the zest of those lemons
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/3 c. chopped fresh basil
1/3 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, garlic and basil in a container with a lid. Place the lid on container and shake. Add the cheese just before tossing over the pasta and vegetables.

*Vinaigrette can be made ahead. Pasta and vegetables can be made a day ahead, toss all together at the last minute. Also add tomatoes very last. ENJOY!

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