Are you looking for a summer seafood dinner with lots of flavor? Then you should give this lovely recipe a try. I found this orzo pasta dish in the August 2016 edition of Southern Living magazine and adapted it to my own tastes. This meal reflects on summer as it incorporates many foods that are in season - fresh herbs, tomatoes, and shrimp! All these delightful tastes combined with a crunchy bread topping make this meal a winner. My family enjoyed topping all of it with extra parmesan cheese to give it some added pizazz!
Preparation time is 25 minutes. Total time is 45 minutes.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3 1/4 cups chicken broth
12 ounces uncooked orzo pasta
1 pound medium raw Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 cup) plus 1/2 cup more for serving if desired
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Torn fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with oven rack 5 to 6 inches from heat source. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large oven proof skillet with a lid over medium-high. Add the onion, and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook until tomatoes are softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and orzo; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and bake until orzo is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven; increase temperature to broil.
In a separate skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; semi-cook for 1 1/2 minutes to 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, arrange the shrimp onto the orzo. Combine the panko, Parmesan, butter, and lemon zest; sprinkle over shrimp and orzo. Return to the oven; broil, uncovered, until the shrimp are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with the parsley and lemon wedges. Serve with the additional 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Serves 4.
(edited Anna Weicht)