I hope everyone is having a great weekend! And if you want to make it just a little lighter and brighter, you have to try this delicious orzo salad. Although we are nearing the end of summer, I still love to use fresh, colorful vegetables in my dishes. And then there’s orzo: the best kind of pasta because it’s rice-size, but still has that savory flavor.
This orzo salad is inspired by one of my parent’s dearest friends, Mrs. Patrice. She is such a vibrant lady and she tells the best stories. While we were visiting her and her husband at the beach one weekend, she brought this delicious orzo salad with bell peppers and other vegetables. Although it had different ingredients, it sparked an idea for me to try a different type of pasta. This is a great side dish to add to any protein-packed meal (you could just take out the shrimp), or you can eat it for lunch or for a light supper.
Recipe: Summer shrimp orzo salad
Servings: Makes about 2
Prep & cook time: 15-20 minutes
- 1/2 cup orzo, dry
- 8-10 small shrimp, frozen or fresh (make sure to peel and devein)
- 1/4 cup feta
- 1/4 avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley (dried or fresh), finely chopped
- 1 tbsp of basil, chopped (I prefer fresh!)
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
First, cook the orzo. Measure out 1/2 cup and set aside. Grab a small pot and fill it about halfway with water, add a dash of salt and turn on high heat. Wait for it to boil and then slowly add in the orzo, stirring gently as you pour it in. Keep on high heat and let it cook uncovered for about 8 to 10 minutes.
While the orzo is cooking, take 1/2 cup of ripe cherry tomatoes and halve them. Carve out 1/4 of an avocado and dice. Measure out 1/4 cup of feta cheese. Grab a small mixing bowl and add the tomatoes, avocado and feta.
Now, let’s sauté the shrimp! Warm a small skillet on medium heat with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and throw on 8-10 shrimp. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2-4 minutes until fully curled and pink. Let them cool on a plate or paper towel.
Periodically check the orzo and test to see if it’s done. It’s pasta so it should be the same texture as pasta al dente. Once it’s done, strain through a colander and let it cool for at least 5 minutes.
Next, add 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of parsley and 1tbsp of chopped fresh basil in the small bowl. Mix all ingredients together. Season with pepper. Then once the shrimp is cool, add it and stir.
When the orzo is ready, add the orzo and mix together! Chill the salad in the refrigerator for 10 minutes so the orzo and the shrimp can marry the other ingredients. Pull out and serve!
Let me know how this recipe worked for you by leaving a comment below! Like I said, you can always double the recipe. It is a great side dish for any occasion and will add freshness to any meal.