I developed my love of artichoke hearts in the usual fashion: I ate my body weight in artichoke spinach dip at chain restaurants in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. I’m not sure if artichoke spinach dip is technically considered a retro food, but to me, it’s as retro as low rise jeans and dial up internet.
Retro or not, I would happily demolish it if you put it in front of me, but at 42, I’m probably too old to eat chips and dip for dinner. Eating artichokes in pasta for dinner, however, is perfectly respectable. Consider this a fresher, more grown up take on artichoke hearts and spinach. The artichokes really are the star here as they melt perfectly into the orzo, and the feta crumbles add just the right amount of creaminess.
It’s delicious and my terrible photos don’t do it justice. I’m currently studying food photography tutorials, so my photos will no longer look like they came out of a cookbook from the eighties, but clearly I’m not there yet. Amazon just delivered a ring light and tripod, so that’s one step closer to better pictures.
- 8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup orzo
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 8 oz artichoke hearts, diced
- 5 oz baby spinach
- Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
- Feta crumbles
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 3 tablespoons parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet. When melted, add shrimp and salt. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer shrimp to a plate and clean out the skillet with a paper towel.
- Heat remaining tablespoon of butter and olive oil in skillet. Add orzo and garlic and saute until just lightly browned.
- Add wine to orzo. Once it is absorbed, add the broth, salt, and the artichokes, stirring occasionally.
- When the broth is nearly absorbed, add in the spinach one handful at a time, adding the next handful when the previous one is wilted.
- Add shrimp, lemon juice and zest, dill, parsley, and black pepper.
- Taste to see if it requires more salt, lemon, or broth. Adjust, if needed.
- Serve with feta crumbles.
Vegetarian variation: In place of the shrimp, use roasted chickpeas. Preheat oven to 400. Toss a drained can of chickpeas with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes. While the chickpeas are roasting, start making your orzo, beginning with step 3.
Wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc. I suspect that Assyrtiko (a Greek white that pairs well with seafood and feta) would also be a great match for this, but given that I that I didn’t have a bottle on hand to test, I can only confidently say it goes well with a Sauvignon Blanc. Mine was a Pouilly-Fumé.