While this dish is really a mediterranean flavored dish it makes me think of the spring with all its green colors and fresh flavors. Even though it is still pretty cold here in the Northeast I am officially done with Winter. So why not lighten up the menu? I am in a Spring mind-set now and this recipe screams Spring! If you didn’t catch this recipe the first time around here it is again.
The shrimp gets a roasted treatment and the orzo gets it’s flavor from the lemons, feta, dill, scallions and red onions. Yum! It had me at hello. The original recipe is from Ina Garten and this recipe as is should serve 5- 6 nicely. I cut this recipe in 1/2 for the two of us. Simple, easy and delicious that’s the way I like it!
Enjoy and obviously this dish is delicious and right for all times of the year. What’s especially nice about this dish is that it can be served at room temperature which makes it a lovely dish for a luncheon as well. This will be a keeper throughout the summer for a delicious flavorful orzo salad. I have to add that I put this dish together rather quickly which always adds to my general love of a recipe.
You can also modify the amounts of herbs if you don’t enjoy the strong flavors of dill, scallions and onions. My husband is a very fussy eater who usually balks at the sight of anything green thoroughly enjoyed this dish without picking out a single piece of the green stuff! If you don’t like the strong flavor of dill this recipe will probably not be for you but if you enjoy dill, parsley, onion, scallions and cucumbers this is the one for you.
This is the original recipe and should serve 6 very nicely. I cut in 1/2 and we had a little left over.
Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper– amounts are listed below in directions
Olive Oil – amounts listed below in directions
3/4 lb. orzo pasta
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (app. 3 lemons)
2 lbs. shrimp – peeled and deveined . I used Jumbo Shrimp had the fish store peel and de-vein it and I had app. 14 pieces to the pound.
1 cup thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts–this will probably be 2 bunches of scallions
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and medium diced– I scooped out the seeds with a melon baller
1/2 cup small-diced red onion
3/4 lb good feta cheese, cut into cubes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare all the ingredients while orzo is cooking.
Cook orzo according to the box for al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl.
Whisk together the lemon juice , 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.
Meantime, place the shrimp on a sprayed sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. ( I mix the shrimp with clean hands and get the olive oil all over the shrimp then sprinkle with Salt and Pepper) Then spread in a single layer. Roast for 5-6 minutes till shrimp are cooked through. Do not Over-cook!!! shrimp will turn pink and curl up.
Add the cooked shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion and start with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and add more if necessary, and app. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of black pepper–obviously every one has different taste buds for salt and pepper but taste as you go. Toss well. Then add the feta and stir carefully. (remember that the shrimp has salt and so does the feta)
You can eat and enjoy immediately like we did or allow the flavors to seal in for an hour at room temperature. This would make for a lovely salad in the warmer months served at room temperature. If you make ahead and put in the refrigerator–bring to room temperature and taste for seasonings before serving. This would be fine to make ahead of time as long as you bring it to room temperature before serving .