Sunday, August 3, 2008

Orzo with Grilled Shrimp, Summer Vegetables & Pesto Vinaigrette



I've never cooked orzo before but it is a great pasta shape! Looks like rice but isn't - it's a tricky little noodle. The fresh, seasonal flavours of this dish are amazing after about 1 day when they've had a chance to really get incorporated with everything. This pasta salad can be served cold or at room temperature. Another great option for a potluck, picnic or a summer evening on the porch.
Ingredients & Preparation: (Original recipe from epicurious, Bon Appetit June 2008)
Serves 6

  • 8 ounces orzo (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash (about 9 ounces total), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons purchased pesto
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes (8 to 10 ounces total), cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I did not add mozzarella because we were having mozzarella sandwiches as well)

Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl. Brush zucchini and bell pepper with oil mixture, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Whisk pesto, lime juice, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons oil, and remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl for pesto vinaigrette. Place shrimp in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons pesto vinaigrette; toss to coat.

Grill zucchini and bell pepper until crisp tender, about 3 minutes per side for zucchini and 4 minutes per side for bell pepper. Transfer to work surface. (I baked my zucchini, shrimp & peppers in the oven and that worked well - about 10 minutes at 350F.)

Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper; grill until charred and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place shrimp in bowl with orzo. Chop zucchini and bell pepper; add to bowl with orzo. Add remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, sliced basil, and mozzarella; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; chill. (I made mine the night before and I think that it turned out just fine!)

Garnish with basil sprigs and serve cold or at room temperature.

1 comment:

Joelen said...

This looks awesome! Such great flavors involved and that pesto vinaigrette sounds delicious!