I’ve been taking a bit of an unplanned break from this space and it has been simply lovely. As I mature in my creative self, I realize how valuable time away is because it allows space for new ideas to take root and flourish. Most of this time away has been spent in my typical daily routine of work and home life, but last week I enjoyed a glorious vacation in South Carolina. Over the course of the week, I found myself with renewed inspiration on many fronts, one being plenty of new things I want to cook and bake.

The idea for this dish came to me while I was basking in the sun (okay, the shade near the sun) poolside, watching my kids play in the pool. Now having made it, the final result seems to perfectly match the circumstances of its creation. This dish is simple, light, fresh, and colorful. It is equally delicious served warm or cold, and would be a perfect option to bring to a potluck. My only recommendation is to at least double it for a crowd since a single batch was just enough to serve four of us, with none left over!

  • Prep 20 minutes
  • Cook 15 minutes
  • Yield 4 servings


    ¼ small red onion, very thinly sliced
    Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    1 cup orzo
    3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
    1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
    Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    1 medium zucchini, diced
    1 tbsp. minced fresh dill
    1 tbsp. minced fresh mint
    1 tbsp. minced fresh basil
    3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled


  • 01

    Place the sliced red onion in a mesh strainer and rinse with cold water for 30 seconds. Drain well, then place in a medium bowl. Add in the lemon zest and juice (about 2.5-3 tablespoons lemon juice) and toss to combine.

  • 02

    Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Cook the orzo just until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain well, rinse briefly with cold water to stop the cooking, and drain again. Add to the bowl with the onion and lemon.

  • 03

    While the orzo is cooking, place the shrimp in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once the oil is warm, add the shrimp to the pan in a single layer, turning once and cooking just until opaque all the way through, 2-3 minutes total. Remove from the heat, add the shrimp to the bowl with the onion mixture, and wipe out the pan to use again.

  • 04

    Return the pan to the stove and warm the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the zucchini. Cook, stirring frequently until the zucchini pieces are well browned on all sides. Remove from the heat and add the zucchini to the bowl with the shrimp and orzo. If serving warm, proceed to the next step. If you prefer to serve cold, chill now and add herbs and feta just before serving.

  • 05

    Add the fresh herbs and feta to the bowl and mix so everything is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. If the pasta is sticky or seems dry at all, consider adding an additional drizzle of olive oil and a tiny squeeze more of lemon juice.