orzo with grilled shrimp, summer vegetables, and pesto vinaigrette

Could this beautiful weather stick around?  Pretty please with a cherry on top? Because, for perhaps the first time this summer, I don’t feel like Satan’s breath is blowing on me when I walk to and from the Metro.  Sitting out on my patio doesn’t make me empathize with pottery in a kiln.  And no longer do I see glittering mirages of ice cream trucks driven by penguins while I wait for the bus.  In short, I’m thrilled.

What’s more, Independence Day–one of my favorite summer fetes–is just two days away.  So, really, there’s no better time to make Orzo with Grilled Shrimp, Summer Vegetables, and Pesto Vinaigrette.  In fact, half of this dish is made on the grill, which I’m sure you already have fired up for the festivities.*  And other than boiling the orzo, it’ll probably take you 20 minutes to pull the whole thing together.  Just 20 minutes for a flavorful, filling, pasta salad of sorts, that you can serve hot or cold and even make ahead of time.

My favorite part is undeniably the taste of grilled peppers and zucchini mingling with the pesto vinaigrette. Nate was partial to the yummy shrimp with the melty mozzarella.  I’m positive that you and your guests will be asking for seconds, no matter which part you prefer.

*As I’ve mentioned in the past, us condo dwellers are forbidden from grilling on our porch.  So, we sautéed our shrimp in their sauce in a skillet on the stove top.  Our veggies were roasted under the broiler for about 20 minutes (until they had slightly blackened edges, but weren’t burnt).  It was still amazing, and the lack of a grill definitely shouldn’t deter you from trying this dish.


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