At first glance you might think…oh man does that look delicious, but no way is my child going to eat that!!! Well you might be surprised. My girls tended to pick the pieces they wanted rather than eating it as a whole, but I could care less how they choose to eat the salad. As long as their attempting, that’s all that matters. And if your child doesn’t want the salad, then I promise you the roasted shrimp by themselves will be a winner. Such an easy, simple way to prepare your shrimp and they come out delicious EVERY SINGLE TIME! You really do need to make sure to NOT over cook them as the recipe warns. Very easy to do!
This recipe comes from good ol’ Ina garten. The measurements on her recipe are different than mine however. I scaled back on the herbs and lemon juice. I figure if you like more of an herb-y or lemon-y taste you could always add more in the end.
I promise you and, fingers crossed, your kids will LOVE this recipe. Along with the fabulous taste of the dish, this thing is packed with all sorts of good nutrition. The shrimp provide a good protein source as well as a nutrient called astaxanthin (filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents).The cucumbers give a refreshing touch with it’s high water content and contribute some added vitamin B. The fiber in the whole wheat orzo makes for good digestion. And the feta contributes good sources of calcium, protein (4 g per 1 oz), and riboflavin (aka vitamin b-2). Not bad huh. I’ll take that good nutrition any day, and I will certainly take it for the girls as well.
Make this and tell me what you think. I always love getting feedback. Helps to make the recipes even better!
Roasted Shrimp and Feta Salad
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Good olive oil
- ¾ pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta. I used 6 oz of white pasta and 6 oz of wheat)
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2½-3 lemons)
- 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined (or more if your like the dish heavy on shrimp)
- 1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
- ⅓ cup fresh dill, minced
- ⅓ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped fine
- 1 hothouse cucumber, peeled, seeded, and medium-diced (or two medium sized regular cucumbers, peeled and seeded)
- ½ cup small-diced red onion
- ¾ pound good feta cheese, large diced (I don’t use low-fat)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- 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 (DO NOT RINSE).
- Whisk together the lemon juice, ½ cup olive oil, 1¼ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well. (Pouring over hot pasta is essential. The hot pasta will absorb the dressing much more, which deepens the flavor of the dish)
- Meanwhile, rinse and pat dry the shrimp. (Patting the shrimp dry helps the oil to fully coat the shrimp) 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! Immediately transfer the shrimp from the hot pan to a bowl. The shrimp may overcook if left on the hot pan.
- Add the shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber and onion. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. 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.
- If you would like more of a certain flavor just add more in. I found 1½ tsp of salt in the lemon/oil dressing is a good amount to start with. Because the orzo boiled in salted water, you don’t want to over salt by putting too much into the dressing as well. If you taste at the end and it seems to need more salt, then sprinkle more over the top. Simple. If your tastebuds want more acidity to the dish, add more lemon juice. If you feel the dish is lacking in the herb department, add more parsley and dill. Stick to the amounts above and then make adjustments if necessary.
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