I am in love with orzo in all its forms. This little gem looks like rice and behaves like pasta, because it is. It’s small enough to let pasta sauce or cheese cling to every little morsel. And for the same reason, it makes a great pasta salad. What’s more, everyone in my family seems to love it no matter what I do to it.
As I am expecting weekend guests in mid-September, I thought I’d test something that would work in for a casual lunch in very hot or very cool weather. We may have both the same weekend! Orzo should do the trick whatever the weather.
One of the guests is a vegetarian who has a hankering for shrimp and one is a carnivore who also likes seafood. I am hoping for warm weather and I think this Orzo Salad will do for everyone. So far it passed the husband test with flying colors when I served it in the screen porch on a perfect August day. Whenever I make this, I will now recall that lovely afternoon. Food and memories, that's what it's all about.
½ lb orzo
¼ cup olive oil
1 pound cooked shrimp (with a good squeeze of lemon)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard
½ red pepper, finely chopped
½ yellow or orange pepper, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely sliced
½ parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup light mayonnaise or ½ cup mayo and ¼ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
¼ cup chopped fresh dill (optional)
Salt & pepper
Lemon wedges for garnish
Cook orzo in boiling salted water for about 8 minutes. Drain well and drizzle with olive oil and pepper. Set aside.
Toss shrimp with 1 tbsp lemon juice. Set aside.
Make the dressing by combining garlic, mustard, 2 tbsp lemon juice, half the parsley, remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Whip until creamy.
Coat the shrimp in two tbsp of the dressing. You can also toss in scallops or other seafood. Toss orzo with peppers, green onions, remaining parsley and dressing. Fold in the shrimp and mayo (and sour cream or yogurt). Garnish with dill (optional) and lemon wedges.
Refrigerate for at least an hour for the best flavor. Like all my recipes you can add, subtract, switch it up and substitute. I will never admit that I forgot the parsley.
Serve it with a crisp green salad and vinaigrette. I'm finding wonderful lettuce at farmers' market now. Some of it is like a work of art. Not sure if we should frame it or eat it!
Late summer weekend afternoons are perfect for reading, especially the wonderful cozies that you'll find by our talented cooks here on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. Make more time for cooking and reading by following some practical time management tips. You'll find one in every chapter of my latest book: The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder, the fifth Charlotte Adams mystery. Have fun. Read mysteries. Now that's managing time well. Drop in to www.maryjanemaffini.com for more on me and Charlotte Adams. Sign up for the mailing list and your name goes in the draw!