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Toasted Orzo Salad with Roasted Pepper, Feta and Herbs
This pasta salad was inspired by the Greek feta and red pepper spread called htipiti. Toasting the orzo in olive oil until golden brown before simmering gives the rice-shaped pasta a rich, nutty flavor and aroma. Lemon juice brightens the flavors and balances the saltiness of the feta, while pistachios add texture and fresh dill and mint bring green, grassy notes. Freshly roasted bell pepper is preferable, but substituting 1 cup of jarred roasted red peppers works, too; just pat them dry before chopping. The salad is best served at room temperature the day it is made, but will keep up to two days covered in the refrigerator.
large red bell pepper
tablespoon plus ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided