Apr 10
2009

Greek Shrimp Orzo


With a little citrus dressing, sweet shrimp, and tangy feta, this orzo salad is a wonderful spring or summer meal.

Combine 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (none of that pre-squeezed stuff in the little plastic lemon – it’s a PLASTIC lemon, people – that should be our first clue about the taste, right?) and 1/2 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil.


Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add 3/4 lb. (12 oz.) of orzo (rice-shaped pasta) and cook until al dente. 


Drain the pasta, pour it into a large serving bowl, and immediately pour in the lemon/olive oil mixture. Mix well.

Prepare 1 lb. of raw shrimp by peeling and deveining it. Deveining? Yep, you gotta do it. With a small sharp knife, make a small slice down the back of the shrimp and gently pull out the thin, black string. Want to know what that is? Oh, come on – you know you do. It’s the shrimp’s digestive track. The darker it is, the more recently the little guy ate before he met his doom. Okay, I am not the squeamish type (I love watching medical procedures on the Discovery Channel as much as the next gal), but I think I just throw up a little in my mouth.


Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. You could also add a little crushed red pepper for a touch of heat. I didn’t dare do that because I knew I’d get that “Are you trying to poison me?” look from my kids. My 7- and 4-year old can’t wait to steal a piece octopus or eel sushi off of my plate, but my 7-year old gags when eating mashed potatoes and my 4-year old won’t touch Cheerios. Seriously!

Cook the shrimp for about 2 minutes until it’s just done. Don’t overcook it; it will be rubbery.


Add 1 cup green onions (green and white parts) and 1 cup chopped Italian parsley to the orzo. Add the shrimp and 3/4 cup feta cheese, and stir well. Let the orzo mixture sit for a hour so that the flavours have time to meld. If you make it earlier in the day, cover and place the orzo in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before serving.


Just before serving, chop 5 large basil leaves. Actually, you want to chiffonade (pronounced shif-ah-nahd) them. Place the basil leaves on top of each other, roll them into a small tube and slice across it. You’ll get pretty little strips of basil.


Add the basil to the orzo and mix well. If you’d like, serve over a bed of spinach or lettuce.


Greek Shrimp Orzo


1/2 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 lb. (12 oz.) orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 lb. raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped green onions (green and white parts)
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
3/4 cup feta cheese
5 large leaves of basil, chiffonaded
Bed of spinach or lettuce (optional)
Combine lemon juice and 1/2 cup olive oil.  Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Pour in orzo and cook until al dente.  Drain the pasta, pour into a large serving bowl, and immediately add lemon juice/olive oil mixture.  Stir well.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Add shrimp, salt and pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the shrimp are just done.  Add the shrimp, green onions, parsley, and feta to the orzo mixture.  Stir well.
Let the orzo sit for 1 hour.  If you make it earlier in the day, cover and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature before serving.  Just before serving, add the basil and gently mix.  If desired, serve over a bed of spinach or lettuce.
Serves 6.
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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous April 10, 2009 at 1:20 pm

This looks so good! I’m going to make it this weekend. Do you find the orzo with the regular pasta?

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2 Dara April 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Yes, it should be in the same section as the rest of the dried pasta at the grocery store. The brand I buy (Ronzoni) comes in a blue box. See the picture in the post. I hope you enjoy this dish!

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3 s. stockwell May 4, 2009 at 9:39 pm

We like to use orzo too. Really has a different texture. good one. Thanks from Santa Barbara, s

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4 Thom May 4, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Your shrimp orzo salad looks luscious. I like your photography.
You have done an excellent job with your blog and I will follow it! Best to you and your family!

Thom
BBQing Tips From Deep In The Heart Of Oregon

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5 Cookin' Canuck May 5, 2009 at 2:47 am

S. Stockwell – I really enjoy orzo, too. It’s a nice break from either standard pasta shapes or rice.

Thom, thanks so much. I hope you enjoy it.

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6 HannahBanana May 6, 2009 at 1:48 am

Hey there! I’m envisioning eating this on a hot day, sitting on the deck with a cool drink! Sounds DEELISH. That photo of the shrimp in the frying pan made my mouth water too….I love seafood!
Thanks for sharing!!!!!

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7 Kristen June 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Looks delicious! Is it just me, or does anyone else crave Mediterranean food about every other day?!

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8 Dazy June 30, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I'm making this for dinner tonight. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

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