Roasted Shrimp and Orzo

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This just tastes like summer!  If you grow herbs, they are getting big enough to be using, which makes this a perfect easy addition to your summer repetoire of one-dish meals.  The fresh herbs make this meal, so don’t use dried.  It is totally worth the splurge to buy them if you don’t grow them.  The orzo can be regular or whole wheat.

I love this dish for entertaining because you can make it ahead, toss it in the fridge and pull it out when you sit down to dinner.  And yet, it is a one-dish meal.  You can add a salad on the side to round it out.  Sorry there is no picture.  I’m surprised I don’t have one because I have made it a lot of times.

If you don’t want to turn on the oven in the summertime, you could grill the shrimp as well.

Note for food allergy people – if you (or your guests) are allergic to parts of the recipe, you can pull out some of the dish before adding in the offending item and then they still get to eat what everyone else has, but you don’t have to make an entirely different meal for them.  I served this at book club with a shrimp-free option and a feta-free option.

Kosher salt
Good olive oil
3/4 pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
1/2 c freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (16 to 18 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 c minced green onions, white and green parts
1 c chopped fresh dill
1 c chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cucumber, seeded, and medium-diced
1/2 c small-diced red onion
3/4 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 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. Meanwhile 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.

While the orzo is cooking, 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 green onions, 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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