Recipe: Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

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My favorite contessa, Ina Garten of the Food Network, always goes all the way and never takes short-cuts. She never skimps on butter, oil, or expensive ingredients. She makes everything look so simple and easy.

On her show last week, she made this Roasted Shrimp and Orzo as part of her nautical-themed lunch. Ina created a "tablescape" using a boat flag as a tablecloth and real rope from the tack store as napkin holders. I can only hope to one day to be a hostess-with-the-mostest like she is.

Last night I tried my hand at making the orzo dish featured on the show. It turned out pretty well. Between bites of eating, my bf proclaimed that this dish was possibly one of his favorite meals so far. Light and crisp, it is great for summer entertaining. And since the dish can be served at room-temperature, it's perfect to make ahead and serve later.

The ingredients. * oops. Parsley was left out of the photo.
  • The ingredients. * oops. Parsley was left out of the photo.

Mise en place.
  • Mise en place.

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo (courtesy of Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa)

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • Good olive oil
  • 3/4 pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 cup small-diced red onion
  • 3/4 pound good feta cheese, large diced

Directions

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, 1/2 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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