Monday, November 2, 2009

Dinner Tonight: Shrimp, Feta and Orzo Salad

During the year after our wedding, I found myself on the receiving end of a magazine called The Nest. I think it came to me automatically because I had used The Knot to help me stay organized as I planned our big day. In any case, the magazine came around once every few months and then, once we hit our one year anniversary, it stopped. I guess once we were past being newlyweds they assumed we were fully "nested". In any case, I actually sort of enjoyed the magazine and got a few good recipes out of it. Among them was this one for Shrimp, Feta and Orzo Salad. It's a hybrid of a hot and cold salad - warm shrimp over a cold orzo pasta salad, served on a bed of lettuce. I definitely picked the wrong season to make this - eating a cold salad in front of a roaring fire is just sort of ridiculous, and needless to say, Mr. Fritz wasn't really a fan of the dish, mainly because of the temperature.

Regardless, I think it's worth posting here because it has a good mix of flavors and textures. And in the right season (for the record, the recipe ran in the Spring 08 issue), would probably make for a great meal.

Shrimp, Feta and Orzo Salad
Source: The Nest magazine
Serves 2

1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 Tb. fresh lemon juice
2 Tb. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh oregano leaves (I used dried)
salt and pepper
1/2 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
3/4 cup orzo, uncooked
1/3 c crumbled feta (about 2 oz.)
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 scallions, sliced
1/2 c packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 avocado, chopped (this is my addition)
1 c baby greens, washed and rinsed

1/2 garlic clove, chopped
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c fresh, flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp. minced fresh oregano leaves
1/4 c olive oil

In a bowl, whisk together garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Add shrimp to marinade, stirring to coat well. Marinate shrimp, covered and chilled, 1 hour. Prepare grill pan. (Note, I let it marinade for awhile, but not a whole hour, and it was fine. Also, I didn't used a grill, I just sauted the shrimp when I was ready to cook it.)

Meanwhile, cook orzo according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

For the dressing, combine all six ingredients in a blender until emulsified.

When orzo is cool, stir in feta, tomato, scallions, and parsley leaves. (Note: I added a chopped up avocado as well because I had one on hand - I thought it made the dish better). Add dressing to taste and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove shrimp from marinade, discard marinade. Grill shrimp until just cooked through about 2 minutes on each side. Using tongs, remove shrimp from grill pan and toss gently with orzo mixture. (I just put all the shrimp on the top of each dish of salad. But I probably should have tossed it all together...)

Line salad bowls with baby greens and fill with orzo salad. Serve.

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