Friday, August 17, 2012

What's The Dilly-O?

Ever just get on some random kick and find that you are suddenly into a food you were never really into before?  Typically I don't use much dill when I cook but this summer that has changed.  We planted four dill plants in our garden and they smell so good when I'm out there that I find myself craving dilly foods. I really liked this Orzo Salad with Shrimp and Feta that was in Food Network Magazine this summer. I ate it as a meal with a side of grilled zucchini but I think it would be a lovely addition to a brunch menu.
You start by cooking some orzo until al dente.  I'll be honest, I was a little nervous that my pasta was going to be a clumpy mess but it loosened up nicely once the oil was added.
Next you chop some shrimp and toss it with olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper on a cookie sheet.  Pop it under the broiler for a couple of minutes and you have the easiest tasty shrimp ever.  I will definitely use this quick method for other dishes that would benefit from a few added shrimp!
You'll need some lemon and cucumber and feta.  I used less lemon than what was called for because we have some sort of a lemon sensitivity in our house (not like an allergy, we just don't like our food over lemony).  This recipe also calls for olives which I left out because, well, I just don't like 'em.
In addition to dill, the recipe also calls for mint, which I also don't like.  I thought it was perfectly delicious, even with all of my omissions.  Don't be afraid to try out a recipe because of an ingredient or two that you don't like.  I'll give the recipe as it was written and you can do with it what you will.
Stir it all up and toss in some chopped scallions and a lovely summer salad is born.

Orzo Salad with Shrimp and Feta (Food Network Magazine)

Kosher salt
8 oz orzo pasta (about 2 cups)
1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails removed), coarsely chopped
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Freshly ground pepper
Grated zest of two lemons (I did one), plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (I left this out)
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup diced English cucumber (I'm not sure what nationality mine was)
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
3 Tbs halved kalamata olives (I left these out too)

Preheat the broiler.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain and rinse under cool water; shake off excess.  Transfer to a large bowl and set aside while you make the shrimp, stirring occasionally to prevent clumping.

Toss shrimp on a baking sheet with 1 Tbs oil, the garlic and salt and pepper to taste; arrange in a single layer.  Broil the shrimp, turning once, until opaque and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the shrimp, lemon zest and juice, scallions, mint, dill, cucumber, feta, olives and remaining 1/3 cup olive oil to the bowl with the pasta; toss.  Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, up to 6 hrs. (Bring to room temp before serving.)


  1. Thanks for a new addition to our rotation!!

  2. You'll love this! And really, how easy can you get?