How to Prepare a Great Salad with Seafood and Orzo
Several years ago while we were still living in Park City, Utah, my wife, daughter, and I went to several of the Utah Symphony performances to meet up with friends for an enjoyable evening of music and dining. What a great way to spend an evening!
And what a vast assortment of culinary delights can be found at these concerts. You'll see everything from sandwiches on paper plates to caviar and foie gras served on china.
One particular concert I remember most clearly was with Kurt Bestor conducting the Utah Symphony. Our daughter Nell was only six or seven months old and she was fascinated by the music. She sat in our laps waving her hands as if she were the conductor.
I also happen to remember that we prepared this delicious Seafood Orzo Salad. We wanted to make something that was quick and easy to prepare, could be eaten warm or cold and would wow our friends. And it needed to a simple enough dish to be served while sitting on a blanket on a hillside after a couple glasses of wine.
I made a dish like this the previous year at another Deer Valley concert but didn't write down the ingredients. I think I made it with lobster and fresh tomatoes, but you can try it with whatever you like.
Experiment with grilled red snapper, swordfish, tuna, fresh basil, whatever you love to eat and have on hand. Orzo, pronounced OHR-zoh, means barley in Italian, but it's really a type of pasta that's shaped like rice. It's a great substitute for rice in salads.
Seafood Orzo Salad Recipe
- Combine the water, claim juice, and a pinch of salt in a large pot and bring to boil.
- Add orzo and cook until al dente (about 12 minutes).
- Drain into a large bowl, retaining about ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, as the pasta is cooking, sauté onion in olive oil over med-high heat in a sauté pan for 3-4 minutes.
- Add peppers, cover and cook for approximately 5 minutes or until peppers are cooked but not soft.
- Add chicken stock and ½ cup of the liquid that the orzo is cooking in.
- Add the scallops. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Then add shrimp. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until shrimp and scallops are cooked to your liking.
- Add cilantro, parsley, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine with the orzo, mix, and refrigerate.