This recipe is one of my new fave summer dishes. I love the light and freshness of this dish because of all the ingredients come together really well, and it's pretty darn cheap to make as well. I love eating fresh produce, so whenever I do my grocery shopping at Henry's Farmers Market...I always stock up on my veggies! I love that this recipe is very versatile that if you don't have one ingredient, substitute something else to your liking...and it will be great. You can sub out the mozzarella for feta if you want more of a bite, but I love the creaminess of mozzarella cheese. Or use different kinds of meats if you aren't into shrimp, or add more shrimp than that is listed. I've been on a pesto binge lately, too. We have an abundance of it in of basil in our garden...so any dish that lets me use my herbs is a winner!
Orzo with Grilled Shrimp, Chorizo, Summer Vegetable & Pesto Vinaigrette
Adapted from Epicurious.com
8 ounces orzo (about 1 1/3 cups)
2 chorizos links, sliced
6 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
2 medium zucchini or summer squash (about 9 ounces total), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 red and yellow bell pepper, quartered
3 tablespoons pesto
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, frozen
2 cups of cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves plus sprigs for garnish
1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup parmigianno reggiano, shredded
1. Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.
2.Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil & 2 tablespoons of vinegar in. Add zucchini & bell pepper to pan. Whisk pesto, lime juice, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons oil, and remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl for pesto vinaigrette. Place shrimp in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons pesto vinaigrette, toss to coat.
3. Cook zucchini and bell pepper until crisp tender, about 3 minutes per side for zucchini and 4 minutes per side for bell pepper. Transfer to work surface. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper; cook until pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Cook chorizo for about 6 minutes. Place shrimp & chorizo in bowl with orzo. Chop zucchini and bell pepper; add to bowl with orzo. Add remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, sliced basil, and mozzarella; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover; chill.
Garnish with basil sprigs and serve cold or at room temperature.
Review: I loved this dish warm with a side of garlic bread, small salad, and a nice fine red wine. Hmmmm, that's a one-way ticket to my food coma!