Orzo With Grilled Prawns And More

We had company here last week and Don made this. It was a super hot day and he didn’t want to barbecue or do anything to make the kitchen hot and, yes, we do have AC.


  • 1 1/3 cups Orzo (I luv this stuff)
  • 6 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, divided 3 ways
  • 4 tbsp. red wine vinegar, divided
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thickness
  • 1 red bell pepper, quartered
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 lb. uncooked large prawns, peeled and deveined
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 of 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • Homemade pesto sauce (not store  bought) – recipe follows

Cook the orzo according to pkg directions until tender but still firm. Stir occasionally, then drain and rinse with cold water. Drain well. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1 tbsp. oil.

Prepare barbecue to medium temperature. Whisk together 2 tbsp. oil and 2 tbsp. vinegar in a small bowl. Brush the zucchini and pepper with the oil mixture, then sprinkle a little salt and pepper over.

Grill the zucchini and bell pepper until crisp tender (about 3 minutes per side and 4 minutes per side for bell pepper).  Transfer to a work surface. Chop the vegetables into 1/2 inch pieces and add to the bowl of orzo.


Homemade Pesto

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 oz. grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 cups fresh basil
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients except the oil into a blender. Drizzle the oil in the blender, while pulsing to smooth consistency.

Moving on……

Add the tomatoes, sliced basil and mozzarella cheese, tossing to combine. Put about 3-4 tbsp. of the pesto into the orzo and carefully stir to combine. Don’t use too much or it will overpower the salad.

Scoop into an old-fashioned cocktail glass, lightly packing down and invert on a plate. Arrange 6 shrimp around  the ‘mound’ and lightly drizzle some of the pesto across the shrimp.

This is served at room temperature and trust me, this was “lick your plate” clean  food.

I really didn’t think it would be enough for an entree, but it really is. Add some toasted focaccio squares and WAHOO! this is good.

I’m sorry, did you want wine with this?

**note to self..remember to take the picture BEFORE eating, not after.


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