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This Lemon Orzo with Asparagus is a simple, yet elegant dish that could be served as a side dish or starter.
I have a super simple side dish recipe to share with you today. I simply love this, it’s so fresh and delicious. If you’ve never cooked with orzo before, it’s actually an Italian dried pasta. The interesting fact is that orzo in Italian means barley so this is why each piece of orzo is the shape of an unprocessed grain of barley.
Orzo is very versatile, it can be used in soups or salads, or creamy risotto-like dishes, even casseroles. Orzo is perfect to use in stuffing peppers or tomatoes, the possibilities are endless. Here I chose to make a simple side dish with some fresh asparagus and a lemony dressing. We served it as a side dish to some delicious garlic and paprika chicken drumsticks, recipe will be shared later.
The dressing is quite simple to make, all you need is the zest and juice from a lemon, some minced garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
I used a whole pound of asparagus and here is a simple method of cooking your asparagus. Simply place the asparagus in a baking dish, I used a 9×13 inch baking dish, and pour boiling water over it. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it set until the water is warm to the touch. A perfect no-fuss method to make perfectly cooked asparagus.
The orzo is boiled in water and chicken broth that is seasoned with salt and some turmeric. This is why the orzo has this beautiful yellow color.
Once everything is cooked you simply toss all the ingredients together including the dressing. You can at this point top the salad with some additional butter if you wish.
If you guys love this recipe, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let us know. Take a picture and tag it #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
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Lemon Orzo with Asparagus
For the dressing
- 1 lemon zested
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
For the orzo
- 1 lb asparagus
- 2 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 1/2 cup dry orzo pasta
- 1/4 cup fresh Parsley chopped
- Place the lemon zest, juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a deep medium bowl.
- Add oil and whisk until it emulsifies a bit. Set aside.
- Snap the end pieces off the asparagus and lay the asparagus stalks in a baking dish, 9x13 inch. Pour boiling water over the asparagus (just enough to cover it), cover dish with plastic wrap and let sit until the water is warm to the touch. Drain water and cut the asparagus stalks into 2 inch pieces.
- Place the chicken broth and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and turmeric and bring back to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Drain orzo, but do not rinse it. Place the hot orzo in a large bowl, add the asparagus and parsley. Whisk the dressing if needed and pour it over the salad. Mix well.
- Top with butter if preferred.
Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen
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