I have found my new "go-to" dish for a summer salad. I think you all know how much I love Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. Ina didn't let me down with this recipe either. It. Is. So. Good.
I am not one to toot my own horn when it comes to cooking, but this is in the top 5 of things I have made. Ever. I made this for a little housewarming BBQ we had this past weekend and the guests gave it a thumbs up as well.
It is relatively easy to make, just a smidge time consuming with all the chopping and cleaning of the shrimp (if you buy them raw and uncleaned). If there is one thing I really want to learn is how to cut up veggies and herbs really well...you know, like the Barefoot does. I did make it the night before and it tasted great the next day.
This made a good amount for a party. I would not make this for 2, unless you want to be eating it for a few days...which wouldn't be a bad thing.
1/2 cup olive oil, plus some to drizzle over the shrimp
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
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (for the roasted shrimp)
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.