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Greek orzo with shrimps is a popular summertime dish in Greece, cooked in a skillet with fresh tomatoes, onions, red peppers, leeks, ouzo, and feta with fresh parsley on top.
This Greek meal is effortless to prepare, and the flavor… oh, the flavor! Even if you haven’t been to Greece, you can taste the freshness in every bite and are transported there. It is the ideal lunch to enjoy on the porch with loved ones or after a day at sea.
Greek cuisine is renowned for its fresh ingredients, robust flavors, and the use of traditional herbs and spices that create mouthwatering dishes. The Greek Orzo with Shrimps combines tender orzo pasta, plump and succulent shrimps, and a medley of aromatic herbs and spices that are characteristic of Greek cooking.
This recipe embodies the essence of Greek cuisine, showcasing the harmonious marriage of Mediterranean flavors and the simplicity of its preparation. Whether you’re new to Greek cuisine or a seasoned aficionado, this dish offers a delightful opportunity to explore the rich and diverse culinary traditions of Greece.
So, let’s dive into the world of Greek Orzo with Shrimps, discover the ingredients that make it truly special, and learn how to create this delicious and satisfying dish right in your own kitchen. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with the flavors of Greece!
The Mediterranean diet’s health benefits must be mentioned here. Leeks, tomatoes, onions, and red peppers are all abundant in this dish. This gravy, Greek orzo with shrimps recipe gets an extra flavor boost from all these flavorful vegetables.
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I strongly advise using shrimp with their heads on. The shrimp’s shell contains every taste, and the heads form the ideal broth.
Tomato juice is the same. Instead of tinned tomatoes, I prefer freshly squeezed ones. Adding some pepper, salt, olive oil, and ouzo to the tomato juice before serving will further elevate the meal.
One of the pasta varieties that are highly well-liked in Greece is orzo. We prepare it with seafood, mushrooms, pork, and vegetables, and even make soup with orzo!
Greek orzo with shrimps
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes | Yield: 2
- 10 uncooked, unpeeled, fresh shrimps No.3-4 (8-10cm)
- 1/2 cup uncooked orzo
- 650ml broth
- 50ml ouzo (or wihite wine)
- 250ml fresh tomato juice
- 40ml extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 1/2 white or yellow onion
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1/2 leek (the white part)
- 5 tomato cherries
- 20gr unsalted butter (optional)
- feta and parsley for topping (optional)
- salt & pepper
- Cooking Spoon
- Frying Pan
- Cooking Pot
Instructions for Greek orzo with shrimps
- 1. Cut the heads of the shrimps and place them in a pot with boiling water.
- 2. Add the other half of your peeled onions, the greens of the leek, olive oil, salt pepper, and 1 tsp of ouzo (optional a garlic clove).
- 3. Let it boil at low heat for at least 30-40′.
- In a skillet, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the shrimp and saute for 2-3′ on both sides.
- Take out the shrimps and let them aside
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the same skillet. Add the onion. Saute for 5 minutes or until soft.
- Add the leek and red pepper. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies get soft.
- Add the orzo. Saute for 1-2′.
- Add the ouzo and let the liquids get absorbed.
- Add some of the broth and then the tomato juice. Keep stirring and adding the liquids as needed. Bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes until the orzo is soft.
- 2′ before it’s done, stir in the cooked shrimps and the tomato cherries.
- Finish by crumbling feta over the top, dust with some fresh parsley, and freshly ground black pepper.
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Tips for your Greek Orzo with Shrimps
Storage and Reheating
It is best kept at room temperature for three days. Store in tightly packed containers and reheat as required during lunch preparation or during the week. It is highly recommended to reheat in the microwave at 45% power to minimize frying or getting a little rubbery. It’s also suitable for reheating on an oven top. Add a little more water and mix to ensure the water is not stuck while heated through.
Harness the power of lemon juice
Lemon juice is a key ingredient in Greek cuisine, known for its bright and refreshing taste. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over your cooked shrimp and orzo just before serving. The acidic tang of the lemon juice will enhance the flavors and provide a pleasant zing.
Utilize lemon zest
Don’t let the zest of the lemon go to waste! Grate some lemon zest using a fine grater or zester and sprinkle it over the dish. Lemon zest contains aromatic oils that will infuse the orzo with a vibrant citrus essence.
Incorporate crushed red pepper flakes
If you enjoy a bit of heat in your dishes, add crushed red pepper flakes to the orzo while it cooks. The spicy kick from the pepper flakes will balance the flavors and provide a subtle heat that complements the other ingredients. Adjust the amount according to your personal preference.
Customize to your liking
Recipes are meant to be adapted to individual preferences. Feel free to experiment with the quantities of lemon juice, lemon zest, cooked shrimp, and crushed red pepper flakes to find the perfect balance for your taste buds. Cooking is all about exploration and making the dish your own.
FAQs – Greek Orzo with Shrimps:
Q1: What is orzo, and where can I find it?
A: Orzo is a small, rice-shaped pasta that is commonly used in Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. It can typically be found in the pasta section of most grocery stores or specialty food stores.
Q2: Can I use a different type of pasta instead of orzo?
A: While orzo is traditionally used in this recipe, you can experiment with other small pasta shapes like couscous or small shells if you prefer. However, keep in mind that the texture and cooking time may vary.
Q3: Can I use frozen shrimps instead of fresh shrimps?
A: Yes, you can use frozen shrimps for this recipe. Just make sure to thaw them properly before cooking. However, fresh shrimps will generally provide a better texture and flavor.
Q4: Can I make this dish vegetarian or vegan?
A: Absolutely! To make a vegetarian version, you can substitute the shrimps with vegetables like roasted bell peppers or sautéed mushrooms. For a vegan option, omit the shrimps and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and replace feta cheese with a vegan cheese alternative or omit it altogether.
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