Spring Orzo Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Dill- serve this warm as quick flavorful entree or chilled as a side salad.

Can you believe it’s already April? Easter is one week away, the crocuses are up and spring is well underway. Doesn’t it feel incredible? Here is a quick and easy dinner. Spring Orzo with Asparagus, Lemon and Dill.You can serve this warm as an entrée, or chilled as a side salad. Keep it vegan or add feta. And if you happen to have any preserved lemons hiding out in your pantry or fridge, this is the time to whip them out and put them to good use. They are not required, but a tasty addition. Ready? Let’s get started.

Once again, the foundation of this recipe is fresh, seasonal produce. Asparagus, snap peas, lots of dill, shallot, garlic and lemon.

 

Set the orzo to cook and simple sauté the fresh ingredients. It doesn’t take long.

If you have preserved lemons, chop some up finely. It will provide a burst of flavor. If not, just increase the lemon juice and salt slightly.  Preserved lemons are preserved in salt, so their flavor is both salty and very tart. A little goes a long way. Start conservatively, and add more to taste. I really like this flavor, so I add more. You may prefer less. See what you think.

Once the orzo is done, combine with Asparagus. Add the fresh chopped dill and crumbled feta if you like. Serve warm right away, or chill and serve as a salad.

Spring Orzo with Asparagus, Snap Peas and Dill. So easy, so tasty, so FAST!

Spring Orzo Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Dill- serve this warm as quick flavorful entree or chilled as a side salad.

Spring Orzo Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Dill- serve this warm as quick flavorful entree or chilled as a side salad.

Spring Orzo Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Dill- serve this warm as quick flavorful entree or chilled as a side salad.

I hope you enjoy!

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Spring Orzo Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Dill- serve this warm as quick flavorful entree or chilled as a side salad. | www.feastingathome.com

Spring Orzo with Asparagus, Lemon and Dill


Description

Spring Orzo Pasta with Asparagus, Lemon and Dill- serve this warm as quick flavorful entree or chilled as a side salad.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 67 ounces orzo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot- diced
  • 3 garlic cloves- rough chopped
  • 1 extra large bunch asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1 inch pieces.
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • ½¾ teaspoon salt and pepper ( see notes)
  • 2 lemons ( or sub one lemon, with preserved lemon)
  • ½ cup fresh dill
  • crumbled feta ( optional)

Instructions

  1. Set salted water to boil and cook orzo according to directions.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Add chopped shallot and garlic, and stir frequently, saute until golden and fragrant.
  4. Add asparagus and snap peas. Saute 5-7 minutes stirring often, scooping up the shallot from the bottom of the pan. Add salt and pepper. Cook until asparagus it is bright green, and little a little crisp, cooked to al dente. The thinner the asparagus, the faster it will cook. Turn heat off. Add the zest of one lemon.
  5. Drain pasta and if serving warm, save a little of the hot pasta water. (For Chilled pasta, see notes below. )
  6. Add the warm orzo pasta to the skillet with the asparagus and just a little pasta water to loosen it up to your liking. Stir. Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice and finely chopped preserved lemon if using ( 1-2 tablespoons). Taste for salt and lemon. Add more if necessary or if it tastes bland. Fold in the fresh dill and sprinkle with optional feta ( keeping in mind that feta will add salt too). Serve immediately.
  7. NOTES- If serving chilled, place the cooked asparagus mixture in a bowl and let it cool. Rinse the cooked orzo with very cold water until cold. Drain, add to bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil, generous squeeze of lemon juice, optional preserved lemon. Mix and adjust salt and lemon, adding more if bland. The pasta will soak up the salt when it sits in the fridge so it will probably need more later. Refrigerate – then taste once more before serving, again adjusting, adding more lemon and salt to taste. Fold in the fresh dill right before serving. Add crumbled feta.

 

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. Veeery nice! Forgot the lemon (had lemon juice though) but was still soo good!Very tasty when the onion and garlic flavors and some browning get off the bottom of the pan and get incorporated into orzo!

  2. Very tasty. A great way to use the asparagus and snap peas that are in season now. Don’t stint on the dill.I think the feta is optional when the orzo is warm, but if you refrigerate it, the feta adds a pleasantly salty pop of flavor.

  3. This recipe sounds amazing! As usual, Sylvia. I also love your photographs. Would you mind sharing what lens and camera is used for these wonderful photos?

  4. This recipe was delicious. Perfect for the beginning of spring. Also, your food photography is stunning. I will definitely be coming back for more.

  5. This salad is beautiful and comes together so fast. I made the orzo a day before, thinking I would serve the salad cold. Last minute on the day of my party & after sautéing the veggies, I removed the veggies, tossed in the cold orzo with a little olive oil, stirred to warm & assembled as recommended. It was awesome!. And no, the orzo was not gummy. Warm or cold, it’s great. Thanks for sharing Sylvia.This salad is beautiful and comes together so fast. I made the orzo a day before, thinking I would serve the salad cold. Last minute on the day of my party & after sautéing the veggies, I removed the veggies, tossed in the cold orzo with a little olive oil, stirred to warm & assembled as recommended. It was awesome!. And no, the orzo was not gummy, not even the next day. Warm or cold, it’s great. As always, thanks for sharing. Sissy

  6. EEEK! I forgot the orzo at the store (duh me!)! Can I use Risotto or small pasta noodles?

  7. Made this for dinner tonight! Love the Spring vegetables combined with lemon juice and crumbled feta. Simple, fresh, and so flavorful!! Thanks.

  8. Just finished enjoying this recipe for dinner tonight using my home grown lemons and dill. Love the combination of flavors and did not miss the meat. Substituted petite peas for the snap peas since I had those on hand and personal preference, otherwise just the perfect entree. Will be trying the other veggie and pasta recipes too. Thank you for the wonderful variety of recipes and all you provide to those of us looking for inspiration!

  9. Another fantastic recipe! I’m not just learning new dishes, I’m learning a better way to cook– and eat! Thank you !!

  10. Picked my first bunch of asparagus out of the garden today. Made this recipe, thank you, it was excellent!