Saturday, April 12, 2014

Roasted Chicken and Orzo Salad with Feta and Dill

This salad is summer in a bowl. It's bright and fresh, and perfect for hot days. It's one of my favorite Ina recipes, and I make it all the time with shrimp or chicken. I like to take it to work and serve a scoop of this salad over a bed of spinach or romaine.
If you're a vegetarian, make this without the shrimp. I promise you will not be disappointed. Pour yourself a glass of cold pinot grigio, sit out on your patio underneath an umbrella, and take a bite of this salad and you too will feel like summer time has finally arrived! 

Roasted Chicken and Orzo Salad with Feta and Dill
adapted from Ina Garten at the Food Network

Kosher Salt
Good olive oil
3/4 pound orzo pasta
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined (I use rotisserie chicken) 
1 cup minced scallions, green and white parts
1 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
1/2 cup small-diced red onion
3/4 pound good feta cheese, large diced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Pick apart a rotisserie chicken or preheat oven to 400 degrees if roasting shrimp. 

Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon salt and a splash of olive oil, and bring water to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it's cooked al dente. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and spread out in a single layer. Roast for 5 to 6 minutes, until the shrimp are cooked through.

Add the chicken (or shrimp) to the orzo and then add the scallions, dill, parsley, cucumber, onion, chickpeas, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully. Set aside at room temperature for one hour to allow the flavors to blend, or refrigerate overnight.

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