Saffron orzo with shrimp (recipe in the comments)
Zucchini and red onion
Today was the first day of a new semester and M started teaching two new courses today! They both went wonderfully, so we were looking for a semi-celebrational dinner. This fits the bill. We got this recipe from a Giada cookbook (of Food Network fame)my mom brought during a fall visit to Buffalo, but we have changed both the ingredients and the preparation extensively. That said, the deeply saffron infused orzo is hers and it makes the base of this dish. Saffron is very expensive, but the price drops dramatically if you buy it at an ethnic grocery store, like an Indian grocery. At our supermarket it was over $14 for .1 oz and I paid $6.40 for 1 full oz at the Indian grocery. This doesn't use a whole ounce so you have extra for other dishes or even doing this again! This was an excellent meal to kick off the new semester!
Chopping: Parsley, lemon, zucchini, onion
Time: 45 minutes
Make ahead: This is best fresh, but keeps very well. If you haven't had it fresh, you'd think leftovers were amazing :)
J: "Thank you for bringing the inspiration, Mom!"
M: "Saffron decadence."