Mediterranean Shrimp and Feta

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Can you tell we love shrimp? A good number of our summer recipes revolve around shrimp and fish, both of which are available fresh from North Carolina waters. Shrimp has had a bad rep for its high cholesterol content, but interestingly, it is high in natural cholesterol and very low in fat. Studies of the effects of shrimp on cholesterol levels have shown that unlike high cholesterol, high fat foods, eating steamed, poached or roasted shrimp do not negatively impact bad cholesterol levels. Great news! Just stay away from the all-you-can-eat fried popcorn shrimp at Golden Corral. Nothing good comes of that.

This shrimp dish is unbelievably flavorful and fresh, and it comes together in about 30 minutes! The original recipe is an oldie from Southern Living, but I’ve added my own spin to it. We served this over organic rice, but pasta would be great as well.

Mediterranean Shrimp and Feta (serves 2-3)

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 can organic artichoke hearts, halved
  • 4 ounces goat milk feta cheese
  • Juice of one fresh lemon
  • 1/2 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3 cups cooked organic rice
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil.
  3. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Add to baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir vegetables gently and add shrimp and artichoke hearts. Roast for 10 more minutes.
  5. Combine feta, lemon juice and parsley in a large bowl.
  6. Add cooked shrimp mixture and any pan juices to the feta. Toss well.
  7. Serve over hot rice.
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Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad

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Have you reached veggie overload yet? You know, that moment in the summer when you look in your refrigerator and think, “how are we ever going to eat all this?” I’m not quite there, but I am ordering light on our produce box this week so we can catch up with what we already have. I’ll also be taking time to can and freeze some of our summer bounty for the winter.

This pasta salad recipe is great because it addresses two summer issues: it uses pretty much whatever vegetables you feel like bringing home from the farmer’s market (or have in your refrigerator) AND it does not require a lot of cooking, so your house will stay cool. It could easily be called “clean your refrigerator pasta salad” because that is what I did. This salad is fresh and light, but also filling. We used a pasta new to us called casarecce. It is chewy and substantial, but also fun-looking. We bought the Giada DeLaurentis brand from Target because it is organic (and was on sale). It was very good. You could use butterfly pasta, macaroni, dinosaurs or whatever shape suits you. We ended up using the last bits of local mozzarella and local smoked cheddar from a recent farmer’s market run. The smoked cheddar was especially great! Will definitely do that again!

You can make the vinaigrette dressing as it is here or you can substitute a white balsamic or rice wine vinegar. The peach vinegar was pretty terrific, but if you can’t find it, use what you have–no biggie. This is all about flexibility and creativity so use this recipe as a base and make it your own!

Farmer’s Market Pasta Salad (makes about 8 servings)

  • 6 ounces dry pasta (we used organic casarecce)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
  • 3 scallions, chopped (white parts only)
  • 3 small yellow squash, washed and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 bell pepper, washed and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh or smoked cheese, diced
  • 3/4 cup peach vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon spicy mustard
  • 1 generous tablespoon, raw, local honey
  • Kosher or sea salt and ground fresh pepper to taste
  1. In a large stock pot bring water for pasta to a boil. Cook pasta to al dent according to directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, combine all chopped vegetables in a large bowl.
  3. In the bowl for a stick blender (or in a standard blender), combine vinegar, oil, mustard, honey, salt and pepper and blend well. Set aside.
  4. Drain pasta and add to vegetable mixture. Add cheese.
  5. Pour dressing over all and toss well to coat.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. Serve cold.
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