Roasted Vegetable Salad Recipe With Quinoa & Feta: Inspired By That Contessa We Love by Jan Mostrom

Roasted Vegetable Salad Recipe With Quinoa & Feta: Inspired By That Contessa We Love

I love Ina Garten (aka The Barefoot Contessa) and her beautiful gifts of cooking and hospitality. I've adapted one of her roasted vegetable recipes (Orzo With Roasted Vegetables) to make it my own. All you need is red (purple) onions, sweet peppers, garlic, orzo or quinoa, lemon juice, basil, olive oil, feta or goat cheese, green onions and a nut of your choice!

The main dish or side dish salad ingredients are healthy and wholesome: eggplant, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, garlic, red onions, olive oil and quinoa or orzo. The vegetables are roasted in the oven until tender. Be sure to flip them as they cook.

The salad dressing for this roasted vegetable and orzo salad is a refreshing combination of lemon juice (fresh is best), olive oil and salt and black pepper. Simple, right? That's all you need to bring out the flavor of the eggplant, peppers and onion.

Once the salad is assembled, you will need some tasty toppings. Our favorite are chopped green onions, diced feta cheese, slivered almonds and fresh basil leaves.

This roasted, lemony salad can be a vegetarian main dish for dinner or a side dish. I hope you love it as much as my family does!

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Servings: 4 as a main dish and 6 as a side dish


  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into a 1-inch dice
  • 4 - 5 cloves garlic, rough cut
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa or 1/2 pound orzo (I used red quinoa but tri-color or regular quinoa works. too)


  • 1/3 cup lemon juice or the juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 5 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds or pine nuts
  • 3/4 pound good feta, diced (not crumbled) or goat cheese, broken into large pieces
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into pieces

Here's how to make it: 

  1. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet lined with parchment. (Parchment is one of my favorite tools. It makes cleanup so simple!) Roast for 40 minutes in a preheated 425-degree F oven until browned, turning once with a spatula.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa or orzo as directed. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the roasted vegetables to the orzo, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the roasting pan into the bowl. 
  3. For the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour on the salad. Let cool to room temperature, then add the green onions, nuts, cheese and basil. Check the seasonings and serve. This one is great warm, at room temperature or even the day after cold!

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Pepper Grinders $5 & Up
Olive Oil $4 & Up
Salad Bowls $8 & Up

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This is a total powerhouse salad recipe. Delicious too.
Elisa Schmitz
Quinoa doesn't get the respect it deserves. It's such a versatile grain and I love that it packs so much nutrition and is gluten-free, too! Yummy recipe, Jan Mostrom .

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