This light, refreshing, simple dish combines some of my favorite ingredients: shrimp, feta and asparagus. (Anyone else love asparagus?) While I went with whole-wheat orzo, feel free to use regular orzo. Also, you can add grape tomatoes to make it a little saucier. Season the shrimp with dried oregano before cooking it to go with the Greek theme of this recipe.
- 1 cup (about 5 ounces) whole wheat orzo
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, plus more for the pasta
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and roughly chopped into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined medium shrimp
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 4 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Fill the skillet 2/3rds of the way with salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the orzo and cook according package instructions until it’s al dente. Drain and set aside, transfer to a bowl, and toss with a little vegetable or canola oil.
Wipe out skillet and return to medium high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add garlic and chili flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus, season with salt and pepper and stir to coat the asparagus. Cook until the asparagus is tender but retains a crisp bite, 3 to 4 minutes. Move the asparagus to the sides of the pan and add the shrimp. Cook, turning shrimp occasionally, until pink and opaque, about 4 minutes total.
Add the orzo back to the pan, stirring to combine, along with most of the basil, the lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil and feta. Toss to combine, allow orzo to heat through, season to taste with more salt and pepper as desired, and serve immediately, topped with remaining basil.