Grilled Shrimp Mediterranean Orzo Salad, is a blend of tiny pasta, called orzo, and summer’s harvest of tomatoes, cucumbers and summertime herbs straight from the garden.
Shrimp is such an easy and affordable way to enjoy seafood. Kids usually like shrimp as do adults.
While living in Brazil and visiting the coastline of one of the northern states, I watched shrimp being caught off the beach.
I had shrimp in every possible way you could imagine, while there.
A popular shrimp dish in Brazil is one I recently prepared on a cooking program on television – The Great American Recipe on PBS.
The dish is called Moqueca and it is a hot bowl of seafood chowder with chilis and coconut milk.
Hot dish in the summertime you ask?
Um, yeah. Brazil is always hot and they love this dish!
Grilled Shrimp – It’s A Mediterranean Way Of Life
Grilled shrimp is a great way to enjoy seafood, here in America for the summertime.
Most folks have a gas grill, though I still prefer charcoal or a wood fire.
Popping a few kabob sticks of shrimp on the grill, cooks in under 5 minutes.
Fast, easy and delicious.
Throughout many of the Mediterranean countries I’ve visited I was most impressed with the many ways grilling seafood was done.
It always brought so much flavor to the seafood and if cooked on open fire, fresh cut herbs were tossed into the fire to impart even more flavor.
Healthy Grilled Shrimp Salad Dressing
Summer is our favorite salad season.
Our gardens are bursting with veggies and fresh herbs.
Local farmers markets draw us in to visit, even grocery stores sell local produce in the summer.
Healthy salads are a given, because they are often raw veggies.
Salad dressing, though, can be what takes a healthy intention and laden it with calories, artificial ingredients and unhealthy preservatives.
Not In My Kitchen!
Homemade Salad Dressing
Homemade Lemon salad dressings take minutes to make and those are the healthiest ways to enjoy a salad.
Salt, fat and acid are what make for the best salad dressings.
Fat, preferably olive oil or another plant oil, such as avocado, coconut or sunflower.
Acid is simply citric acid or vinegar.
Citric acid can be lime, lemon, grapefruit or orange.
Whisk the acidic ingredient with the oil and you already have a perfect emulsion for a rich, yet healthy salad dressing.
Add to that, a pinch of garlic, some finely chopped onions or even a hint of chili and you’d have to ask yourself why you ever bought salad dressing!
Salads That Don’t Leave You Hungry!
Salad you say? Isn’t that just a side dish, or a pile of raw veggies to satisfy my quest for something healthy on my plate?
Filling and satisfying salads should have healthy veggies and something with substance.
Potato Salad is usually the first satisfying salad most of us think of.
When I make potato salad, I want it with Homemade Mayo on mine.
Add to that, lots of celery and onions and a quick homemade mayo; which is simply lemon, olive oil and an egg yolk.
Place grilled fish or shrimp on top and you’ve got the perfect and complete healthy meal that won’t leave you hungry.
How To Grill Shrimp
Shrimp is small and easy to slip through the grate of a grill.
Therefore, there are several ways to approach this task, so I will share a few of my favorites:
- Slide the shrimp, top to bottom, onto kabob sticks. This keeps them straight while grilling and makes them easy to turn over.
- Grill baskets, which have a top hinged to the bottom of a stainless steel cooking surface with a handle. Easy to stack small items inside and grill them as one.
- Grill tray, which looks like a frying pan with holes, so you can cook inside of it allowing the heat and essence from the fire to cook and flavor.
- Stovetop cast iron griddle will give you the heat and the grill marks, just not the smoke.
- Tabletop hibachi grill, an easy and affordable way to grill for one or two people.
- Grill, hibachi or stovetop griddle – for grilling, this grill basket is fabulous and easy to work with.
- Kabob sticks – I like the reusable kabob sticks here
- Small bowl
- Whisk or fork
- 2-quart pot, for cooking the orzo
- Cutting board
- Chopping knife
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Olive oil
- Coarse salt
Grilled Shrimp Mediterranean Orzo Salad
- Grilling tray or Kabob sticks
- 1 lb Shrimp peeled
- 3 tbs Olive oil
- 2 tbsp Lime juice and zest
- 2 Garlic cloves crushed
- Coarse salt to taste
- 1 cup Orzo or other tiny pasta
- 2 cups Tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 cup Fresh Parsley chopped
- 1 cup Cucumbers chopped
- 1 cup Mushrooms chopped
- Put the shrimp on 4 kabob skewers, stretched through the length of the shrimp, keeping them straight.
- Mix the olive oil, lime juice, lime zest and crushed garlic into a small bowl. Brush a little onto both sides of the prepared shrimp. Set the remaining dressing aside for the salad.
- Cook the orzo according to directions on the package. It usually cooks in about 8-minutes. In a large bowl, place the chopped mushrooms with the remaining salad dressing and a little salt. When the orzo is cooked and drained, place the hot orzo on top of the mushrooms and quickly cover with a lid. The heat will soften the mushrooms.
- Cook the shrimp on the grill. Cooking shrimp goes fast so keep an eye on them. About 1 minute on each side until they are no longer opaque and turn pink. Take them off.
- Place the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and chopped parsley into the orzo bowl. Toss, plate and lay one grilled shrimp stick across each salad and serve. Added coarse salt as desired.