Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Orzo with Grilled Shrimp, Summer Vegetables and Pesto Vinaigrette

I love shrimp, but I am not too familiar with preparing it. I think I am always too afraid I will overcook it. And everyone knows, overcooked shrimp can be a huge disappointment. Grilling seems to be a safe method because you can keep a good eye on it.

And yes, I can eat shrimp when I am pregnant. But only about once a week. We don’t want Son Two coming out with a giant, over-sized brain now do we?

8 oz orzo (about 1 1/3 cups)
6 ½ Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar, divided
2 medium zucchini or summer squash, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 red or yellow bell pepper, quartered
3 Tbsp purchased pesto
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 large tomatoes, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook orzo until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Transfer to large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon oil.

Heat barbecue to medium-high heat. Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl. Brush zucchini and bell pepper with oil mixture, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk pesto, lime juice, remaining 3 ½ 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.

Grill 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 and grill until charred and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Place shrimp in bowl with orzo. Chop zucchini and bell pepper and add to bowl with orzo. Add remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, and sliced basil. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil leaves and serve cold or at room temperature.

Yields 6 servings.


meg said...

Picasso's got nothin' on that photo.

Lucky kid you have there.

Sophia Sparx said...

Mmmm I love pesto - this sounds amazing.
For more great pesto recipes, check out: http://iheartpesto.blogspot.com

Sweet Pea Chef said...

I've been looking for a good orzo recipe. Thanks!