This apparently is salad week on the blog. Today’s Greek orzo pasta salad is a light and tasty dinner you can serve to help celebrate the temperatures warming up.
I didn’t set out to make this week all about salads, but I’ve found myself eating more and more of them lately. I think it’s because it’s been pretty warm here the past month or so and my body is starting to get into summer mode. I know that sounds kind of strange, because there should be a season called Spring in between Winter and Summer. However, here in Texas, the season of Spring is typically unbelievably short (or non-existant).
This orzo pasta salad is a great way to kick off Spring or Summer (depending on where you live and what Mother Nature is doling out). It’s light and has a tangy dressing that’s really refreshing and it’s not a heavy pasta salad because the orzo is sitting on top of a plate of salad greens.
I’m a big fan of little pasta shapes like orzo, they’re so versatile. You can use them as the dish itself or toss them in with some greens or add a ton of vegetables to them and they fall into the background. Those little shapes are also fun to eat…well, pasta is just fun to eat.
When I dished out this orzo pasta salad, Craig swore there was mayonnaise in the dressing (it’s just that creamy) – there’s no mayo in the dressing. He then proceeded to inhale it and proclaim it as his new favorite salad. I think that says a lot when a guy likes a salad that much.
You’ll love making this pasta salad for a filling lunch or light dinner.
- 1 cup dried orzo pasta (cooked according to package instructions and drained)
- 1 pound shelled, de-veined shrimp
- 1 5 ounce bag spinach or Spring mix greens, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup tomatoes, diced
- ½ cucumber, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- feta cheese (optional)
- For the Dressing
- 1 .66 ounce package fresh dill
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Lightly coat a large skillet with oil and heat over medium high heat.
- Once pan is hot, toss in shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. When done, remove shrimp from pan.
- For the Dressing
- Remove the dill fronds from the thick stems (except for one stem to use later for garnish) and add to blender.
- Add vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to blender.
- Begin blending and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
- Once the dressing comes together stop blending and give it a taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Pour dressing over drained orzo and stir to thoroughly coat the pasta in the dressing.
- For the Salad
- Line the plates with the chopped greens.
- Add the dressed orzo pasta on top of the greens.
- Sprinkle each of the salads with the tomatoes, cucumber and red onion.
- Divide the shrimp between the plates and top the salads with the shrimp.
- Pull some of the fronds from the stem of dill you set aside and garnish the plates.
- Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese if you wish.
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