- 16-24 spears of asparagus, bottoms trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 12 canned artichoke hearts, quartered
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 c. basmati rice
- 2 1/4 c. water
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 c. Kalamata olives
- 1/4 c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 425° F. Lightly oil shallow baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine the asparagus, artichokes, and bell pepper. To the bowl, add the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Arrange coated vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Set the bowl aside but do not wash.
Roast veggies for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and tender, stirring once or twice for even cooking. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350° F.
Meanwhile, in a medium-size saucepan, combine the rice and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and gently boil for about 12 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. In the bowl you set aside, combine the cooked rice, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, half the cheese, olives, and parsley. Mix well, then taste and adjust the seasonings.
Transfer mixture to a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish or 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.