March 27, 2011

The Almost Famous Salad

Ok, ok … I’m not one to hold back on trade secrets, or even filter them for that matter. I’ve made this salad for two different events in recent months and both times it is met with RAVE reviews. The secret … it’s soooooo simple! Ssshhh, keep that part between the two of us! This salad made an appearance at the Georgia On My Mind brunch last weekend, and also at a wine country luncheon last fall.

Greek Orzo and Grilled Shrimp Salad


3/4 pound orzo, cooked al dente
1 large cucumber, seeded, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil, plus additional for brushing shrimp
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
16 medium shrimp, peeled and de-veined

Combine orzo, cucumber, green onions, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Place dill, vinegar, and mustard in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the orzo mixture and stir well to combine. Gently fold in the feta cheese.

Heat grill to high. Brush shrimp with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for approximately 2 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Divide orzo salad among 4 take-out containers or plates and top with 4 shrimp. Garnish with additional dill.

Instead of making your own dressing for this salad, Brianna’s French Vinaigrette works in a pinch. (Note: this dressing is my all time fave and absolutely perfect for so many dishes!). For the shrimp, frozen pre-cooked shrimp work lovely in the dish and really speed up the prep. I use these and mix them in with the salad instead of topping with the grilled shrimp. Last tip, grilled chicken works great in place of the shrimp!

~charmed b