Thursday, August 13, 2009

Athenian Orzo

***Brad and I just love Greek food...especially if it involves seafood and feta cheese. So naturally, I was excited to try this recipe when one of our best friends, Dustin, shared it with us. He found it over at EatingWell.com. Not only is this dish healthy, but it is packed with intensely delicious flavors! Shrimp, garlic, tomatoes, capers, onions, feta and a dash of red pepper flakes to add a little heat. In fact, this dish almost has a cajun flair to it...it has just the right amount of spicyness.

We recently got to indulge our love of Greek food at a wonderful little place called Nabeel's Cafe. I've shopped at their market several times before, always meaning to eat in the cafe when I had a chance. Well, we happened to be in the area around lunch time last weekend. We started the meal with an amazing appetizer called Feta Theologos. It's actually a recipe from the Monastery of St. John in central Greece. It's essentially a fresh slice of feta cheese wrapped in foil and topped with olive oil, fresh garlic and oregano...and baked. It was served with fresh panini bread...WOW! Needless to say, I plan to try and re-create that appetizer here at home.

Now...back to the recipe at hand...half-way through eating this wonderful dinner, Brad said it was one of his favorite meals...he liked it that much! If you're looking for a yummy Greek-inspired dish, this may just be the one!***

Athenian Orzo
Makes 4 servings
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 50 minutes
EASE OF PREPARATION: Moderate

Ingredients:
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 tablespoon drained capers
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 pound medium shrimp (30-40 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 cup orzo
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch (or other 3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray. Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil.

2. Heat oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add wine and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley, capers, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper; cook for 5 minutes. Drop in shrimp and cook, stirring, until barely pink, about 2 1/2 minutes.

3. Cook orzo in the boiling water until tender but still firm, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Toss with the tomato-shrimp sauce. Sprinkle with feta and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons parsley.

4. Bake, uncovered, until the feta is bubbly, about 10 minutes.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

I love orzo - this looks absolutely fabulous!