Lemony Asparagus Orzo Salad
Super refreshing yet incredibly sturdy, this Lemony Asparagus Orzo Salad is perfect for a light summer lunch, family picnic or BBQ among friends!
Has it been raining loads where you are? In my part of the world, it’s been raining so much, many cities are now completely flooded and there are even a few areas where the situation is so bad, residents had to be evacuated. The army has been called to help, tanks and helicopters can be seen everywhere…
My own daughter is currently caught up in this mess. Although she didn’t have to evacuate her home, most of the roads that lead to her workplace have been closed due to their being buried under water! Getting to work for her is now practically impossible. Since she and her boyfriend both happen to be working in a field that’s considered essential, she still has to show up every day, though. Her only solution has been to pack up her bags, grab a few inflatable mattresses and turn her office into a makeshift bedroom for her boyfriend and herself. The worst part is, they don’t even know for how long…
Luckily, my little hometown is still safe and fairly dry, although my sump pump has been working overtime these past few weeks. Of course, my daughter’s current living conditions are a tad too rudimentary for a 2 year old, so she asked if I would take care of the babe until things got back to normal. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige.
So anyway, all this to say that if it’s been raining a lot in your part of the world too and that you need a little bit of sunshine in your life (I know I do!) then you should totally make a batch of this Lemony Asparagus Orzo Salad. It’s so super light and zesty and refreshing, it’s guaranteed to brighten up your day with the very first bite.
This salad goes good with just about anything, really. Plus, it’s super sturdy and will keep fresh for days in the refrigerator, so you can make it way ahead of time if you’re planning on bringing it to a summer potluck, BBQ or family picnic!
I’ve no doubt that it will instantly become a true favorite of yours, for years to come…
To make it, start by cooking the orzo according to the instructions on the package, then rinse it under cold water until it’s completely chilled.
Let it drain completely and reserve until you are ready to use it.
While the pasta is cooking, steam the asparagus until it turns vibrant green, which should take no longer than 2 to 3 minutes.
You might want to leave that lid on, though. I took it off to take the pictures, so you could see the asparagus’ beautiful color, but things’ll go much faster if you keep ’em covered!
As soon as your asparagus turns a beautiful vibrant green, rinse it under cold running water until it’s completely chilled. Allow to drain completely and set aside for now.
While the pasta and asparagus are draining, make the dressing; combine some extra-virgin olive oil, the zest and juice of a large lemon, 3 minced cloves of garlic, a bit of fresh thyme and sage, some Dijon mustard, a bit of honey and a pinch of salt and pepper together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup; whisk vigorously until well combined.
Combine the chilled orzo, asparagus, red bell pepper and chopped parsley and dressing in a large bowl.
Give all the ingredients a good toss until they are well combined.
Your salad is now ready to be served, but I strongly suggest that you send it for a little trip to the refrigerator first, to allow flavors to develop.
Like I said earlier, this salad is super sturdy and will keep well for at least a week, if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.
Lemony Asparagus Orzo Salad
For the orzo salad
- 12.5 oz dry orzo
- 1 lb asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Cook the orzo according to the instructions on the package, then rinse it under cold water until it no longer feels warm. Let drain completely and reserve.
- Steam the asparagus until it turns vibrant green, about 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately rinse under cold running water until it's completely chilled. Let drain completely and reserve.
- Make the dressing: combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup; whisk vigorously until well combined.
- Combine the chilled orzo, asparagus, red bell pepper and chopped parsley in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss until well combined.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours to allow flavors to develop.
- This salad will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.