Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summery Orzo Salad with Shrimp & Easy Edamame Dip

"It's all part of the adventure" is something my mother always says when things don't go exactly as planned. Which is precisely what happened in the kitchen when she and I set out to make dinner on Friday night.

I was in Pennsylvania visiting my parents and it was hot. Very, very hot. So the thought of making anything on the "let's bake this" list that I had emailed a few days earlier was simply too ridiculous to entertain. We were sweating just sitting there sipping ice water, who could possibly turn the oven up to 350 for an extended period of time? So it was on to plan B. Except we didn't have one of those... oops.

As my mind wandered to what I wished I was eating, one of my favorite simple dishes from Kefi, a greek restaurant on the upper west side, popped into my head. Orzo, with some shrimp, feta cheese, a light tomato sauce and spinach. It's a perfect summer meal and I was determined. To supplement, we also decided to make this edamame dip that I've been dreaming about since eating it at my in-laws' 4th of July party.

At this point, with our newly minted plan, we went shopping. But quickly met more difficulties, when we realized that brown miso doesn't exist in Swarthmore, PA, nor apparently does chili paste. And when I discovered that the closest thing my mother has to a food processor is a food mill, I was basically ready to toss aside my apron and get a hamburger from Nifty Fifties.

But we persevered in the face of culinary adversity and were rewarded with a light, lemony and refreshing dinner and an evening cool enough to enjoy outside. This is a great summer meal with enough left over for lunch the next day. And as usual, my mother was right. "It's all part of the adventure."

Summery Orzo with Shrimp inspired by Kefi

1/2 lb Orzo
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lbs Shrimp
4 scallions, chopped
2 tsps. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup spinach
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
3/4 lb. feta cheese, crumbled

1. Cook the orzo to package instructions, about 9 to 11 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.

2. Steam shrimp in a medium saucepan with the lid on until just pink. Do not overcook.

3. Meanwhile, add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

4. In a large bowl, combine orzo, dressing mixture, and shrimp. Mix to coat the pasta.

5. Gently steam spinach (about 3 minutes in a small pot with a lid), until just wilted.

6. Add the spinach, tomatoes, scallions, and feta to the pasta. Mix and set aside until cooled. Serve at room temperature.

Edamame Dip adapted (out of necessity) from Alton Brown

12 ounces shelled, cooked edamame
1/4 of a medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. red chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
5 tbsp. olive oil

1. Place edamame, onion, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, chili powder and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. (Here we used a food mill with the largest-holed blade. If you have a food processor, do yourself a favor and use it.)

2. Process for a total of 30 seconds, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

3. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Once the oil has been added, scrape down the bowl and process for another 5 seconds.

4. Serve with toast points or crispy pita chips. Or do what I did and eat it with a spoon.

1 comment:

  1. So I don't have a food processor, so shoot me! I was going to mention that I have 2 food grinders (the old-fashioned kind), but I thought my new best friend would be more fun - & it was. The pictures look great & the food tasted even better; we'll have the last of it today (Tuesday) for lunch :-) Judy