Mediterranean style dishes are among my favorites to eat during the summer months. I love the fresh flavors and the lightness of olive oil and fresh herbs in dishes. On of my favorite cold salads that my mom makes all summer long is Ina Garten’s Shrimp and Orzo Salad, full of fresh flavors like dill, parsley and feta cheese. Since I started my day as “throwback Thursday”, I might as well end it similarly.
For dinner tonight I made a simple cold orzo salad filled with spinach, asparagus, red bell pepper, tomato, sliced kalamata olives and cucumber and topped with seared lemon-thyme shrimp and roasted broccoli. I also had a glass of Spanish Quarter Cabernet-Sauvignon on the side.
–Bring 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add 1/2 cup orzo pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes.
-Strain the pasta and run under cold water. Place in a medium-sized bowl and add 1/2 TBS olive oil and 1/2 TBS white wine vinegar and toss to coat. Add chopped asparagus (about 2 large stalks) red bell pepper (about 1/4), Roma tomato (about 1/2), kalamata olives (about 5 sliced), cucumber and torn spinach.
-Top with feta cheese, shrimp and roasted broccoli to serve.
-Defrost 8-10 medium sized shrimp (or use fresh whatever you have access to). Coat with the juice of 1/2 a lemon, cracked back pepper and finely chopped thyme.
-In a small saute pan heat olive oil and garlic. When garlic slightly browns add shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes per side.
-Remove shrimp and place on top of pasta.
This was a fantastic and simple dinner. I had ended up having about 3/4 of the pasta mixture (I forgot how much 1/2 a cup of dried pasta ends up being!) and saved the other part for a nice salad topper or side dish for tomorrows lunch! After dinner I had multiple desserts. I started with one of my new samples from Chobani: Chocolate Greek Yogurt. I received a sample of their Champions line in the mail today and have been dying to try the chocolate flavor. It was delicious! It still has the sour taste of Greek yogurt with a slight cacao flavor. It was a bit too sweet for me but delicious nonetheless. When I finished I needed a real chocolate fix. The yogurt was good but I wanted more of a true chocolate flavor. Another Mr. Chocolate Bunny Attack ensued, along with a mini chocolate egg that was in the basket. What can I say, I really love chocolate!
I am beyond stuffed at this point. Good food for a dreary night.
Happy Almost Weekend,
SIDE NOTE: I took a picture of my dinner with my iphone, thus the poor quality. I was in the comfort of my own apartment with access to a camera but decided against snapping a photo. My room-mate was also making dinner and doesn’t know about my blog. I am a very open person, my family follows my blog and I have told some of my co-workers, however; my friends have a negative connotation associated with the blog world, so I refrain from telling them. When I mentioned my juicer purchase to my room-mate she ridiculed me for it. Every time I “plate” a dish in her presence I get funny looks, and when I speak of my breakfast I get a “I don’t eat breakfast, and if I do then I just grab fruit or something easy…why do you bother?” reaction. In the past when I have documented food at restaurants I receive similar ridicule, so typically it is just easier not to explain my blog to my friends.
Do you openly discuss your blog? Thoughts? I blog because it is what I believe in, and no one would change that for me. In fact if anyone read the New York Times Dining section yesterday, there are LOTS of people who document their food. One of my favorite sentiments in the article was “In the unconscious mind, food equals love because food is our deepest and earliest connection with our caretaker.” People also mentioned that they liked to show off what they are eating and share it with others. Ultimately the two most important things in my life family and food. I like to share my discoveries, comfort and love of food with those I am closest to because it represents an element of care. Okay, sorry for the rant. CHECK OUT THE NY TIMES LINK!!