I like fun foods. And what could be more fun than a pasta that disguises itself to look like a grain of rice? (OK, maybe a few things might be more fun than that, but roll with me here…) Orzo is the cutest little pasta out there. And it is great to use in cooking. It can be used in soups, salads, casseroles, etc.
Orzo is actually the Italian word for ‘barley’ (according to Wikipedia…I don’t really know Italian!), which is a nod to the grain it resembles in size and shape. It is really popular in Greece, and so you will see it in many Greek-style recipes, often appearing alongside feta cheese.
I stumbled upon this recipe when looking for a family-friendly dish that would use up some capers I had left over from another recipe. What a find! Thing 1 and Thing 2 went crazy over it (although Thing 2 picked out the tomatoes first, *sigh*), and DH served himself a second large helping, nodding his head and saying ‘Mmmm’ over and over. Not only that, my neighbor stopped over right after we finished dinner and tried some too, and she LOVED it.
Adapted from a recipe at EatingWell.com.
Greek Shrimp with Orzo
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/4 dry white wine
- 28 ounces diced tomatoes (1 can)
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes (divided)
- 1 tablespoon capers (drained)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pepper to taste
- 1 pound medium shrimp (2 bags)
- 1 cup orzo
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray.
- Cook orzo in boiling water, 8-10 minutes until just tender. Drain.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the wine and cook for another minute.
- Add the tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of parsley flakes, the capers, basil, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the shrimp and cook until pink.
- Mix the orzo into the skillet with the shrimp, then transfer entire mixture into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle with the feta cheese and remaining parsley flakes.
- Bake about 10 minutes so the feta gets melty.
I served it with a side salad made from some other things I was looking to use up, including spinach, mandarin oranges, and mushrooms!
Note that if you want, you can probably skip the baking step entirely. Simply make sure you cook the shrimp in the tomato mixture until completely done, then stir in the orzo, add the feta and parsley flakes on top, cover and heat for about 10 minutes on the stovetop. That should give you a similar result!
This dish was a big success in my family. Thing 2 rating = (4.5 out of 5 biscuits!).
If you like Greek flavors, you will also love my easy and delicious Mediterranean Chicken Bake! The process is simple and results in super tender, juicy chicken infused with seasoning.