As a nutritionist, I rarely have to feel guilty about my food choices. Ok, if there was one, it’s that occasionally I will choose a white flour product over a whole wheat one. And sometimes you don’t have a choice. One the prowl for many years, I searched and searched for a whole wheat orzo pasta. I love orzo and felt that if I could only find a whole wheat version, I would be in nirvana.
I once found it in a specialty store and then that store shuttered. Sure, there were online sources, but when the urge for orzo is strong, who is going to wait even a day for a delivery? Until now. I found Rice Select, a mainstream company that you’ll even find on your locals grocers’ shelf (and if it’s not there, ask them to stock it as most grocers carry this brand).
The taste? Tender, cooks up al dente just like the pure white stuff, but oh you’ll feel a lot more virtuous with this choice.
BALSAMIC SHRIMP AND ORZO PASTA SALAD
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 Tbsp minced basil
½ cup olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
½ cup diced red onion
½ cup diced black olives
12 ounces cooked Rice Select Whole Wheat orzo
½ cup julienned basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
For the Shrimp and Salad:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1. For the dressing: Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Set aside.
2. For the pasta, combine all the ingredients and set aside.
3. To prepare the shrimp: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute the shrimp for about 4 minutes until they are pink. Add 1/4 cup of the dressing and remove the pan from the heat.
4. To assemble: Place the greens in a large mixing bowl and add about ½ cup dressing. Top with the pasta salad. Add the warm shrimp on top with its cooking liquid. Sprinkle the salad with pine nuts.