Here’s a clever little twist I came up with. I added a couple ingredients to this lovely lentil orzo salad recipe from my archives. This time around, I topped it with sauteed shrimp and crumbled feta cheese. Yeah, I hear ya … “Real clever, Emily. Adding crumbled feta and sauteed shrimp to most anything will make it delicious.” Well … you’re right, it IS delicious.
Round out this terrific summer meal with a glass of sauvignon blanc and al fresco dining.
- 2 cups green lentils, uncooked
- 2 cups orzo, uncooked
- 2 cups carrots, spiraled or chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 1/2 cups fresh parsley (1 large bunch), chopped
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 2 tbsp butter or cooking oil
- 1 lb large (16-20 count) shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 6 oz block feta cheese (crumbled by hand)
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Prepare lentils: Place lentils in a colander and rinse under running water. Sort through to remove any small rocks or shriveled lentils. Combine rinsed and sorted lentils to a pot with 4 cups of water. Bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer (you should only see a few small bubbles and slight movement in the lentils). Cook, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. The lentils are fully cooked when they are just tender and still have a bit of a bite to them. Be careful not to overcook your lentils because they will become mushy. Drain lentils and return them to the pot and add a pinch of salt. Cool and reserve lentils. At this point, if you are not preparing the salad right away, you could add your cooled lentils to a container and refrigerate up to 1 week.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add orzo, stir orzo to prevent noodles from sticking, cook uncovered for 9-11 minutes until al dente. Drain, cool, and reserve orzo.
Combine cooled lentils, orzo, carrots, red onions, and parsley in a bowl. Wisk together lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, dried dill, salt and pepper, and pour over salad. Toss to combine. Note: You may not use all of the dressing. Let salad rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour so flavors develop before serving.
Season shrimp with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Heat a large saute pan to medium-high heat and add butter or cooking oil. Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Reserve.
To serve, pile lentil orzo salad high on a plate and top with shrimp and crumbled feta cheese.
Servings 6 (Serving size: 1 1/2 cups salad, 3-4 shrimp, 1 oz feta cheese)
Note: Leftover salad will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.