Nothing says spring more than bursts of color, but those stunning hues aren’t limited to outdoor foliage. Brighten up your meal with this delicious and colorful orzo dish served with asparagus, lemon, and dill. You can serve this versatile dish as a warm entree or chilled side dish. It only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.
- 6-7 ounces of orzo
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 extra-large bunch of asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons salt and pepper
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup fresh dill
- Crumbled feta (optional)
1. Boil salted water in a pot and cook orzo according to directions.
2. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
3. Add chopped shallot and garlic. Stir frequently. Saute until golden and fragrant.
4. Add asparagus and snap peas. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often. Add salt and pepper. Cook until asparagus is bright green and a little crisp.
5. Turn off the heat. Add the zest of one lemon.
6. Drain pasta. If you’re serving the dish warm, save a little hot pasta water.
7. Add the orzo pasta to the skillet with the asparagus and snap peas. Put a small amount of pasta water to loosen the pasta to your liking. Stir.
8. Add a generous amount of lemon juice. Taste for salt and lemon. Add more if necessary or if the dish tastes bland.
9. Fold in the fresh dill, and sprinkle with optional feta. Keep in mind that the feta will add more salt to the dish. Serve immediately.
10. NOTE: If serving the dish cold, place the asparagus and snap peas in a bowl and let it cool. Rinse the cooked orzo with very cold water. Drain, and add to the bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Refrigerate, and fold in the fresh dill and optional feta right before serving.