18 June 2009

Summer favorites

I love summer salads... with busy kids coming and going to soccer and gymnastics practices, it is wonderful to be able to make a meal ahead of time then just pull it out of the refrigerator when it's time to eat!! You probably know by now that I love the Barefoot Contessa!! I love how easy and delicious her recipes are, and I have all of her books. When I saw this recipe on one of her shows, I knew I had to make it. It has become one of our family favorites...

Roasted Shrimp and Orzo Salad

Kosher salt
Good olive oil
3/4 pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (16 to 18 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
1/2 cup small-diced red onion
3/4 pound good feta cheese, large diced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through. Don't overcook!

Add the shrimp to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight. If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings and bring back to room temperature before serving.

Lately I have been replacing the fresh dill with cilantro (since we love it so much), and sometimes I keep the feta cheese on the side because I don't like cheese... (I know, how is it possible!!!!). I also added corn because we love corn and it goes pretty well together!

Another super easy summer favorite of ours (and one that never lasts long around here) is Strawberry Lemonade. All you need are these two ingredients and water....

I find the frozen sliced strawberries (1 lb sweetened) at Safeway, but I am sure you can find similar packages anywhere. Add a can of good ole' lemonade, water and ice and you are done!! Simply delicious!!


  1. I too love Ina The Barefoot Contessa, she is so creative and simple at the same time :)

    Enjoy your day...

  2. It's 98 degrees in Texas. I'd go for some of that strawberry lemondade! Yum! ~Mindy

  3. Hi Isabel! I came over because I wanted to personally invite you to the blog party I am throwing. I think it will be fabulous, and I want all my fabulously creative friends to come! It's called...Where Bloggers Create! It was inspired that by the fabulous magazine Where Women Create. I would love for you to show off your workspace! Hop over to My Desert Cottage or Valentine Studio and read all about it!


  4. thank for the yummy orzo salad-will definitely make!!

  5. Hi Isabel,
    I too am a salad junkie in the Summer. Don't you just love the way Ina roasts those shrimp? I had never thought about doing them that way and now I'll never go back to anything else... yum! I haven't tried this recipe, will give it a shot. I've got all but one of Ina's cookbooks, maybe I should go order it. How about that Ginger Chicken? That would be great in a salad. Will try the lemonade too - thanks.

  6. Too funny when I checked your blog because I also posted a strawberry drink today. Yours sounds yummy too! I will give it a try!
    PS LOVE your blog!

  7. The recipes look good enough to eat. I am always looking for a new summer salad. Thanks!

  8. It all sounds wonderful, isn't summer just the best time of year for easy fixin's and lemondade!! Have a lovely weekend!

  9. That strawberry lemonade could go down very well at my garden party... I'm just going through my guest list, checking that you are still OK for my blog party this weekend!

  10. Mmmmm~ That salad looks divine!

  11. Oh, I lvoe pasta, and what a great way to enjoy it! I posted about you and Lisa on my blog- go check it out! We had a blast meeting all of you. Too bad you're so far away!

  12. I love Ina Garten's cookbooks! She is such a great person, too. Stories about women who leave "corporate" life to do what they love is soooo inspiring!

    Great to see you, Lisa & Joy at Funky Junk Sisters--made my day!!

    xoxo Debi

    P.S. want to hear more jokes!

  13. The strawberry lemonade sounds wonderful. Especially today. It's 98 degrees here with high humidity! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment about my dining room. I pulled the paint can to try to pull the color but I painted over the top of the lid!

  14. Looks wonderful, and oh so summer like!! Chrissy

  15. Ina is one of my favorite cooks and I LOVE making this salad too. It's always a hit whenever I make it. I hear you met one of my friends Eileen, from Forget Me Not Dreams. Isn't she great? Have a great week.


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