Yummy Pasta Salad

This last week sometime I came across a recipe for Greek Orzo with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette on Black*Eiffel.  It's a Bobby Flay recipe, though he makes it with grilled shrimp.  I made it this last Tuesday without the shrimp as a side for our grilled chicken.  It was wonderful!  I was surprised, actually, at how good it really was.  

I seeded the tomatoes* because I didn't want the tomato-water and seeds in the pasta.  (Personal preference.)  Also, my tomatoes were flavorful, and the cucumber was nice and crisp. Mmm!  I haven't used dill very much in the past.  Now that I've used it in this pasta salad and in egg-salad sandwiches this week, it's going to be a little more "on my radar."  Between that and the honey dijon in the dressing for the pasta, this is one of the best tasting dishes I've ever made myself. 

Anyway, let's get on with it, shall we?
Here's the recipe:

Greek Orzo and Grilled Shrimp Salad with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette

(Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay) (Printer Friendly Version)

Ingredients
  • 3/4 pound orzo, cooked al dente
  • 1 large cucumber, seeded, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing shrimp
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 16 medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

Directions

Combine orzo, cucumber, green onions, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Place dill, vinegar, and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the orzo mixture and stir well to combine. Gently fold in the feta cheese.  (If using shrimp:) Heat grill to high. Brush shrimp with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for approximately 2 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Divide orzo salad among 4 take-out containers or plates and top with 4 shrimp. Garnish with additional dill. 



*Here's a tip about the seeding the tomatoes:
To seed a tomato, cut it in half across the middle, then squeeze out the seeds and juice into a strainer placed over a bowl. Discard the seeds.  (You can add the tomato guts to stews and/or salad dressings to increase tomato flavor.)

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