Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Greek Orzo and Grilled Shrimp Salad with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette

Since it’s getting nice and warm outside, I wanted to find a light yet filling dinner. I was watching an episode of Bobby Flay’s “Boy Meets Grill” - he created this specific salad and it looked scrumptious! He grilled his shrimp, but I opted to cook my shrimp on the stovetop since it was raining outside. The key here is to use fresh ingredients, and having a careful eye to not overcook the shrimp! His original recipe can be found here, and my modified/stovetop method is listed below. I love shrimp so I decided to add 2 lbs (vs. Bobby’s suggested 1-lb), but kept all the remaining measurements the same. It still came out perfect, and felt that the ratio of shrimp was better by adding the 2nd pound. While it tasted great the day-of, it tasted even better the next day. The shrimp was fantastic, but the vinaigrette is the heart of this dish. Perfect for a light dinner, BBQ, brunches, and potlucks too. An incredible dish that’s full of flavor!
5/27/09 UPDATE- After having the pasta sit in the fridge, I felt that the vinaigrette flavor wasn't as robust/bold as I remember eating it. Thus, I made another batch of the vinaigrette recipe, and it tastes fantastic, and coated the pasta wonderfully. I think the pasta absorbed a lot of it the first time. The recipe measurement below has been updated.

Ingredients:
Greek Orzo Salad
¾ lb (12-oz) orzo
16 medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined (I used 2-lb raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined; 26-30 count)
2 Tbsp butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ lb (12-oz) feta cheese, crumbled

Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette
1/2 cup chopped dill, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
6 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil

Directions:
1. Cook orzo pasta according to boxed directions.
2. While the orzo is cooking, heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add butter and minced garlic, and let cook for 1 minute.

3. Pat your shrimp dry, and toss it into the sauté pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until shrimp is opaque. Watch closely- Do not over-cook shrimp! When cooked, remove shrimp from pan.

4. In a large bowl, combine orzo, cucumber, green onions, tomatoes, and cooked shrimp.

5. In a food processor or blender, place dill, vinegar, and mustard and blend until smooth.

6. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

7. Pour the vinaigrette over the orzo mixture, and stir well to combine.

8. Gently fold in the feta cheese.

9. Garnish with additional dill.

Source: Bobby Flay

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