Complexity with One Skillet

Lemon and garlic are great flavors that pair well. Each is strong enough to stand on its own, but together they become a unique flavor powerhouse. And when you use them to steer a dish featuring shrimp, pasta, and spinach, things are bound to get interesting.

Despite having several steps to take it from ingredients to a finished dish, this recipe doesn't take more than half an hour to prepare and will have you well beyond the tired dinner standbys that sometimes dot our weeknight meal landscape. As is often the case, you can tweak the seasonings and even some of the main ingredients to suit your own tastes. However, stick with seafood and greens or other quick-cooking vegetables to keep the prep time short and please keep the lemon and garlic as the main flavor stars.

This really is a one-dish meal. Pour a chilled glass of white wine or dry cider and dig in. What's more, when it's all said and done, you aren't looking at much in the way of cleanup either. Now that's what I call a keeper recipe!

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp with Orzo

  • 16 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1-2 tsp. seasoning blend of your choice — I like favoring a garlicky blend
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 12 oz. orzo pasta
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 2 c. loosely packed fresh spinach leaves
  • Green olives, for garnish — optional

Rub the shrimp with the seasoning blend of your choice and set aside with the sliced lemon and minced garlic.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet of your choice. I used a nonstick skillet, but a good cast iron or stainless steel skillet will also work. When the oil is hot to the point where a drop of water will sizzle when added, add the shrimp to the skillet. After 1-2 minutes of sautéing, add the lemon slices and minced garlic. Cook the lemon slices, turning once, until they are lightly browned and the shrimp is pink throughout. Remove both the shrimp and lemon to a plate and keep warm.

Add the orzo and curry powder to the pan with the minced garlic and sauté lightly until the pasta is quite fragrant. Add 3 cups of water or broth (if you have it) and stir well; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid is nearly gone and the pasta is tender. Stir the spinach leaves into the pasta and serve by spooning the pasta into a serving bowl and arranging shrimp, lemon, and olives (if desired) on top. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 3-4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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