It’s that time of year. Farmer’s markets are overflowing, it’s hot, and you don’t feel like turning on the oven for dinner. Seems like someone’s grilling every weekend, and it never hurts to have a fantastic side dish–that isn’t a dessert–in your back pocket, ready to bring. I’ve been craving this simple, light shrimp and orzo salad all summer long. It’s healthy, lemony, and can be both a great side dish and a main (and a great leftover lunch… just sayin’).
A couple years ago, I went over to a friend’s apartment to hang out. Since we were about twenty two at the time, it seemed reasonable to assume that, since I got there around five, we would all — at some point — go in search of some sustenance. So, imagine my surprise when everyone had already eaten! I think may have indicted everyone with a round of zippy insults that relied heavily on references to nursing homes and early bird specials, and when I had resigned myself to silencing my rumbling tummy with the battered protein bar that swims around in the bottom of my purse for the occasional unforeseeable emergency such as these, good ole Dave gave me a pitying look and sprang into action. He whipped up this pasta for me: a simple sautee of veggies you probably already have languishing in your crisper drawer, multi-grain rotini pasta and that wonderful gilder-of-lilies, feta cheese. Ever since, this has been one of my favorite go-to quick meals for a healthy serving of veggies combined with that wonderful chew that only pasta can deliver. When the feta melts into a kind of sauce, all I can say, my friends, is “Opa!”