Saturday, May 1, 2010

Summer Veggie and Prawn Orzo Salad

I try not to keep hardly any processed food in the house, but one thing I keep around for "emergencies" is a jar of Classico Pesto. It keeps well in the fridge and is great for tossing on just about anything when my imagination or groceries have run low.

This salad is delicious! I made some changes to the recipe; namely reducing the oil a great deal (originally called for 6 1/2 Tbsps olive oil and 4 Tbsp of vinegar) because pesto is already oily, why would I need to add more? No thanks. I also didn't have any mozzarella cheese that the original recipe called for, but comments on my Epicurious app said that feta is delicious with it. Next time I'll try it.

Adapted from Bon Appetite, June 2008

1 cup orzo
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium zucchini or summer squash, cut lengthwise in 1/4 inch strips
1 red or yellow sweet pepper, quartered
3 Tbsp pesto
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, divided
1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
8 oz mozzarella or feta, cut into cubes

In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook your orzo until it's just tender. There was no time listed on the package I bought, so I tried 8 minutes. I think it was fine-you might want to start with 5 and then just check it every now and then until it's cooked how you like it. Drain well, then rinse with cold water, drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine pesto, lime juice, 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar and 2 tbsps olive oil. Add some to your shrimp in a bowl and toss to coat. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar. Brush the zucchini slices and red pepper with it, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Grill them over medium heat just until crisp tender, before removing and allowing to cool. Chop and add to orzo.

Thread your shrimp onto skewers and grill them until cooked through. Allow to cool, pull them off the skewers, and add them to the orzo. Pour in remaining pesto mixture, tomatoes, sliced basil, and cheese. Toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Can be served immediately, or cover and chill for 2 hours.

Makes 6 servings
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