Saturday, July 18, 2009

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

I loved this salad. It was light, refreshing, and tasted so fresh! Roasting the shrimp is key, and using FRESH ingredients are absolutely necessary. To help cut down on prep time, you can chop all the veggies and herbs the day before, and assemble the day of… but make sure you give it enough time to allow the flavors to marinate. I made this the day before, refrigerated it overnight, and took it out an hour before guests arrived. By the time it is ready to eat, it will be at room temperature.

I only used ¾ of the amount of fresh parsley and fresh dill, and it was the perfect amount. Any more could have been overpowering. I used smaller shrimp (31-40 count), so I decreased the roasting time to 4 minutes... though next time, I will increase to 2-lb of shrimp (who doesn’t love extra shrimp?). I think adding halved cherry tomatoes and diced yellow pepper would make this dish even more colorful and flavorful. A great and healthier alternative to the mayo-based pasta salads, and I love how you can eat this cold or at room temperature. It’s a perfect dish to bring to a BBQ or potluck. This dish was very similar to my other (and equally delicious) Orzo Pasta salad. If you want to make this an entrĂ©e, adding diced chicken would taste fabulous.

Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette
½ cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 3-4 lemons)
½ cup olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp kosher salt
Good olive oil
¾-lb (12-oz) orzo pasta (I used ½ -lb orzo)
1-lb (16-18 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 31-40 count, but will use 2-lb next time)
Olive oil
Kosher salt & pepper
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
1 cup chopped fresh dill (I used ¾ cup dill)
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley(I used ¾ cup dill)
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
½ cup small-diced red onion
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
¾-lb (12-oz) feta cheese (I used 8-oz)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Fill a large pot of water, add 1 Tbsp of salt and a splash of olive oil. Bring the water to a boil.
3. Add the orzo pasta, and cook according to package instructions.
4. Drain and pour into a large bowl.
5. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.
6. Place the shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt & pepper.
7. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 5-6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Don’t overcook! (Since I used smaller shrimp, I decreased the roasting time to 4 minutes.)
8. Add the shrimp to the orzo pasta, and then add the remaining ingredients- scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, salt, and pepper. Toss well.
9. Add the feta cheese, and stir carefully.
10. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings and bring back to room temperature prior to serving.

Source: As found on Indulge and Enjoy originally from Barefoot Contessa at home by Ina Garten


Elizabeth said...

WOW! This looks great - I love orzo!

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