Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Cooking like a Star: Roasted Shrimp (Prawn) and Orzo Salad with Feta

I was so excited to see when I went over to Zoe's blog Bake for Happy Kids that she had set up a blog hop with rules as fluid as I like to be(!) and that her focus for Cook Like A Star this month was to be Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, who really galvanised my love of cooking and entertaining in the early days, and so it was a complete no brainer that I wished to take part.

However, my first offering from Barefoot Contessa is not really that technical, indeed, there is very little 'cooking' that takes place, though the result is still utterly delicious and worth the (lack of) effort. Though this is made with prawn, I am going to trial it with roast chicken, as Phill said it looked lovely but prawns are nowhere near the top of his list of favourite foods. He has plans to take it to work for lunch, as I have been taking this to work to refuel after a taxing morning of crowd control and the odd bit of Shakespeare.
I tweaked this to omit the dill. I find it quite a pervasive herb and I am not massively keen on it so I doubled the amount of parsley, which I love. Otherwise what I created is the recipe that you see below, though the beauty is that you can up or reduce the ingredients to your own liking.
A word on Orzo. For the uninitiated, it is a pasta that looks like a grain and is a great pasta for a salad. When I have cooked pasta in the past and used the usual shapes for a salad, I always find it a bit too much; cold, sometimes claggy pasta shapes... Ugh! However, this pasta is big enough to add bulk but small enough to not take over and thin out the rest of the ingredients, so it is well worth looking out for. You might find it in the Greek section if your supermarket has one, which is where I found mine.

Anyway, I hope very much you make it over to Bake for Happy Kids and are tempted to take part in Cook Like A Star and I hope very much that you are tempted to try this recipe, which I should probably get round to showing you.

Roasted Shrimp (Prawn) and Orzo, adapted from Barefoot Contessa At Home, by Ina Garten

Serves 6 - measurements in cups for it is an American recipe.


Kosher salt
Good olive oil
¾ pound orzo pasta (rice-shaped pasta)
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (16 to 18 count) shrimp (prawns), peeled and deveined
1 cup minced scallions (spring onions), white and green parts
1 cup chopped fresh dill (which I omitted, but doubled that amount of parsley below to two cups)
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium-diced
½ cup small-diced red onion
¾ pound good feta cheese, large-diced


Firstly, preheat the oven to 400 degrees, or about 200 C

Now prepare the pasta. Fill a large pot with water, add 1 tablespoon of salt and a splash of oil, and bring the 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, ½ cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Pour over the hot pasta and stir well. It is important that you do this whilst hot because the pasta absorbs the flavours better.

Meanwhile, place the shrimp (prawn) 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.  Don't leave them too long or the prawns will become rubbery.

Add the prawns to the orzo mixture and then add the spring onions, parsley, cucumber, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss well. Add the feta and stir carefully so as not to break the feta up too much.

Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour to allow the flavours to blend if you are serving it on the same day, otherwise refrigerate overnight.

If refrigerated, taste again for seasonings and bring back to room temperature before serving.

This salad, covered with clingfilm, kept happily in my fridge for three days.



  1. I've seen a few recipes for orzo recently but this is the first one with prawns. I bet they add a lovely sweetness. Am following your blog now!

  2. Hi Stella,

    Thanks for linking up your post and blog hop with me. This salad is great for Spring and the combination sounds very yummy.


  3. Stella, you have a nice blog here. Visiting from Zoe's site. You cook awesome dish for your family

  4. HI Stella,
    What a crunchy summery treat! Must ve been tasted fab with prawns :D.
    Have a nice day!


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