A Delicious Summer Dinner…Shrimp and Orzo with Spinach and Tomatoes

TomatoesI’m always playing with recipes, trying new things in the kitchen, and looking for different things to make for dinner.  I especially like to try seasonal things, tying the food to the weather.  When spring and summer hit, I start to think about some of my favorite foods, like seafood, especially shrimp.  Recently, I had played around with some ingredients and came up with a delicious dinner, shrimp and orzo with spinach and tomatoes.

Shallots and GarlicFor this recipe, cook 1 1/2 cups orzo according to the package directions.  While it is cooking, you can prepare the rest.  Saute 1 large shallot, minced, in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  You want the shallots to be soft and have a bit of color.  It only takes a few minutes.  Add to the shallots 4 garlic cloves, chopped.  Cook those for a few minutes to get a little bit of color, but make sure they don’t get too dark.  Add 1/2 cup white wine, and deglaze the pan (scrape up any cooked bits from the pan).

Shrimp Tomato SpinachTo the saute pan, add 1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp.  Cook the shrimp until they start to turn pink.  They only take maybe 2 minutes on each side.  Add 8 oz spinach to the pan.  Stir carefully…I always seem to toss the spinach everywhere.  But it will start to wilt and become part of the dish.  Add 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes that have been cut in half.  You just want the tomatoes to heat through, so it will only take a minute or two.  They don’t need to cook.  Add 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, then stir everything with the cooked orzo.

Leave everything for about 15 minutes while the flavors come together and the orzo absorbs some of the sauce.  Grate 4 oz Asiago cheese into the dish and serve.

OrzoThis makes a great, light dinner, especially on a warm night.  I like it almost at room temperature, but if you prefer it hot, you can just dig in sooner.

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