Sunday, March 23, 2014

Roasted Vegetable & Orzo Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

I made this salad awhile ago and it was AWESOME!  I'll definitely make it again.  Probably soon.  The leftovers were as good as it was fresh.  My whole family loved it.  I can't believe I haven't blogged it until now!  No excuses.

Since I'm not going to make up an excuse for myself and my lack of blog posting, I'll tell you about the afternoon wherein I almost went postal at Target.

I just have a question: have you been to Target lately?  What has happened to this store???  It used to be a nice alternative to Wal-Mart (for about a zillion fill in the blanks).  Now it's like Wal-Mart's red-headed step-child.

So I ran to Target because I need a cupcake carrier (yes, I know.  It was an actual need, despite how it might sound.) and I needed a heap of things for my MOPS group.

When I got to Target, there were no 3-seat carts available (you know the really huge carts where two kids can sit in the back and then the third child sits in the usual child seat in the cart.  Those carts are a total lifesaver for me and anyone else with three or more children.).  Fine.  A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  I put my boy in the cart and let the girls run wild.

You think I'm joking.

So then I proceed to be able to find approximately nothing on my list without asking an employee, who may or may not have known where the item was located.  While shopping, I ran across someone using one of the 3-seat carts that I DESPERATELY NEEDED.  How many children did this couple have with them?  ONE.

Three seats.  One child.

I had three children.  One seat.


I may or may not have given the dad the evil eye as I walked past him.  He was casually pushing his ONE CHILD in the cart made for three children while I wrangled my three children who were, as I mentioned, running wild.

My luck continued at checkout.  I somehow managed to choose the a cashier on his first day of work.

Said cashier was living proof that Target has tossed employee training to the wind.  Help us all.

I won't give you all the details, but let me just use the Southern catch-all: bless his heart.  While I waited for him to come up with my total, my sweet baby boy emptied the checkout lane of its merchandise.  On both sides.  Candy, toys, trinkets, mini-lint rollers, chapstick...  The woman behind me was giving me about the same look that I gave the one-child-three-seat-cart-couple.


And THEN, when I put my sweet baby boy back into the cart, he proceeded to fill his diaper with sewage.  Then he opened several of the items I was trying desperately to purchase.  Unfortunately my cashier missed the day they taught "how to check a customer out" in Target cashier training school.

AND THEN the brand-new cashier apparently thought it would be a good time to ask me if I wanted a bag for the approximately 29 items I purchased.

I'm just the wrong person to ask that question and this was most certainly the wrong afternoon to ask it.  Do I look like someone who is concerned about the environment?  I'm just trying to get to my van with all of my children and at least most of the things I paid for today.  Um, yes. A bag would be helpful, thanks.

Did I look like the kind of person that carries around those germ-infested reusable bags?

Not a chance, dude.  I don't drive a Subaru and I have too many children to keep up with a passel of dirty, scrubby-looking reusable bags.

Next time I have the urge to go to Target, I'll just make this salad and place an order on Amazon.

Roasted Vegetable & Orzo Salad

1 eggplant, peeled
1 red bell pepper
2 zucchini
1 large sweet onion
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

8 oz. orzo pasta (about 1 1/4 cups uncooked pasta)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T prepared pesto 
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Chop the veggies into a small-dice.  Toss the veggies together with the salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil on a large baking sheet.  Roast at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  Use a spatula to toss the veggies once about halfway through.

Allow the veggies to come to room temperature while you make the orzo.  Cook the orzo according to the package directions in salted boiling water.  Drain and pour pasta into a large bowl.  Add the veggies.

Whisk together the vinaigrette and pour over the veggies and pasta.  Toss to coat.  Crumble in the feta cheese and add the pine nuts.  Stir to combine and serve at room temperature (can serve chilled as well).


Sarah Gray said...

Hahhahhaha You are a great writer! I had to go back a second time to actually look at the pictures and read the recipe since I was so interested in your Target story. :)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for your sweet comment, Sarah! And thanks for being a faithful reader. :) Try the salad. It's a keeper! Have a great weekend.