Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Citrus Orzo and Shrimp Salad

Winter has been pretty non-existent here this year, with just a few dustings of snow and ridiculously mild temperatures.  I feel a little cheated out of snow days with lazy mornings and big pots of soup simmering all day.  But it's starting to get light out before I even leave for work, we're heading outside more often when we get home in the afternoons to run around and blow bubbles, and it's making me want lighter, more summery foods.

This salad was mostly me trying to use up some random stuff from the fridge and freezer, but the basic idea for it came from a couple of recipes on Ezra Pound Cake.  The bright citrus plays nicely off of the salty feta, and the spicy shrimp are perfect with the creamy avocado.  If I can't have winter, this is a nice way to welcome warmer weather!

Citrus Shrimp and Orzo Salad
serves 3-4

What's in it:

Zest and juice of one small orange
Zest and juice of one lime, divided
1 large or two small cloves of garlic, minced, divided
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tsp adobo sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 c sliced dry-packed sundried tomatoes
2-3 c baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 c orzo pasta
1 tomato, diced
1/2 c crumbled feta
1 avocado, diced

How to make it:

Start water boiling for the orzo.  Whisk the zests, orange juice, half of the lime juice and half of the garlic together in a large bowl.  Drizzle in three tablespoons of the olive oil, still whisking.  Salt to taste and set the dressing aside.  Add the orzo to the boiling water, and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. 

While the orzo cooks, combine the remaining lime juice, garlic and olive oil with the adobo sauce and brown sugar, and a little salt.  Add the shrimp and stir to coat.

While the shrimp marinates, mix the sundried tomatoes and spinach into the dressing.  Drain the orzo when it's cooked, and immediately add the to the bowl with the spinach, letting the heat from the pasta cook the spinach slightly and stirring to let the orzo absorb some of the dressing.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and add the shrimp and marinade.  Cook the shrimp for a minute or two on each side, until pink, and add them and any sauce in the pan to the pasta.  Stir in the tomato, feta and avocado and serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. this sounds awesome. I love orzo and shrimp.

  2. Looks great. You might like this bacon and asparagus salad http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/asparagus-bacon-salad.html