Category Archives: Fresh Herbs

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo


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.


Herbed Butter and Sliced Radishes


We are still not getting spring here and it is making me a little stir crazy.  So I thought I’d post this springy/summery recipe.  I served this at book club and the butter was mistaken for cheese because it is just that tasty. Here is a picture of this with a couple of cheeses as an appetizer platter.  You could also use some nice thinly sliced whole-wheat bread to make open-faced sandwiches for lunch.  You’ll want to use the butter on everything,  and should.  It would be great if you steamed or roasted veggies and then tossed a little of this on it to finish them off.

Herbed butter (center), sliced radishes and sliced baguettes along with some cheeses

Herbed butter (center), sliced radishes and sliced baguettes along with some cheeses

1 stick of unsalted butter (really, unsalted, it makes a huge difference in this one!)
1 tsp kosher salt (the larger grains make a difference here)
2-4 T Chopped fresh herbs – like chives, thyme, rosemary, dill, tarragon, parsley.  Whatever is fresh and you can get your hands on.  You can do just one or any mix that smells good to you.  I like chives and dill, but pick out what you like.  Altogether, you’ll need at least a couple of tablespoons.
1 bunch radishes, as fresh and beautiful as you can get

Soften the butter by leaving it on the counter for about an hour.  Using a mixer, whip the butter until it is fluffy.  Mix in the salt.  Mix in the herbs.  Taste the butter and see if it tastes good to you.  If not, add more salt and/or herbs.  Put the butter in a serving bowl.  You can use it right away or put it in the fridge.  It will harden in the fridge, but if you want it fluffy later on, just make sure you take it out of the fridge in time to resoften before using.

Slice the radishes thinly.  Slice the baguette.  Arrange the butter, radishes and bread on a platter.  Guests butter and top the baguette slices themselves.  If you want this to be a passed appetizer, you could do that ahead of time and serve all ready on a platter.