However, I find myself thoroughly enjoying the balanced flavor and texture of brown basmati rice. It's not as coarse or chewy, but still nutty and has a hearty bite. The fragrant flavor expected of basmati is also there. Paired with orzo pasta, it's the perfect foundation for a rice salad! This one is loaded with shrimp, fresh basil, and sweet cherry tomatoes!
I came home with a giant bunch of basil from the market, and now I have to come up with a million different ways to use it! If you're in the same (tasty/awesome) predicament as me, this recipe is a great (tasty/awesome) way to use up a large amount. Chop enough leaves to fill 1 cup. (I actually like to use the smaller, more tender leaves and keep them whole. Almost like baby spinach!)
The last of the aromatics are a couple of garlic cloves and sliced sweet onion.
tomato-crazy at the farmers market!) Do not stir, but give the pan a little shake every once in awhile. (Ahhh, that sizzle.)
Orzo & Brown Rice Salad with Shrimp, Basil, & Cherry Tomatoes (Serves 4)
1 tbsp + 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1/2 cup Brown Basmati Rice
1 cup Water + more for boiling
1/2 cup Orzo Pasta
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled
1/2 Small Sweet Onion, peeled & sliced
1 pint basket Cherry Tomatoes, stems/leaves removed & washed
3/4-1 lb Small Shrimp, peeled & head/tails removed
Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 cup Fresh Chopped Basil Leaves
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the brown rice, then stir to coat the grains. Toast slightly, about 1-2 minutes. Next, add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer the rice on low heat according to the cooking time listed on the packaging (approximately 35-40 minutes). Off the stove, allow the rice to stand with the lid on, for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork and place in a mixing bowl to cool slightly.
- In a separate small saucepan, bring 2-3 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo, and cook until "al dente." Drain the pasta, then add it to the mixing bowl with the brown rice.
- Heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic and onions until slightly browned. Then, add the cherry tomatoes. Do not stir, but give the pan a little shake every once in awhile. Once the skins begin to scorch and pop, add the shrimp, lemon juice, and zest. Season with salt and pepper. Stir gently with a wooden spoon to evenly combine all of the ingredients. As soon as the shrimp are cooked, turn off the heat and add the chopped basil on top, wilting the leaves slightly.
- Top the brown rice and orzo with the shrimp-tomato mixture. Stir gently to combine. The rice and pasta will absorb the sauce.
- Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!