Friday, April 3, 2009

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

I get rave reviews every time I make this recipe, especially from McHubby. The presentation of this dish is so appetizing with its plump, pink shrimp, chunks of cucumber and feta, and chopped herbs. The flavors of these ingredients complement each other very well. The cucumbers and onions add a nice crunch, while the dill and lemon juice wake up the flavor in this dish. This dish can be prepared in advance and also travels well. Serve it warm or cold.

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo, Barefoot Contessa at Home

Makes: 6 servings

Kosher salt
Good olive oil
¾ pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (16 to 18 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
½ cup small-diced red onion
¾ pound good feta cheese, large diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, ½ cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Don't overcook!

Add the shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. 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 before serving.

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