Friday, July 22, 2011

Orzo Salad with Asparagus & Creamy Dill Dressing

When I originally scrawled out my notes for this recipe I was going to use green beans, but once I got to the store and saw the asparagus, it looked too beautiful not to use. The tiny, tender stalks were calling my name. If your asparagus is a bit thicker, you will want to add a minute to its cook time. Knowing I wanted to grill salmon tonight, I decided dill would be my herb of choice here, but you could use any herb you like (i.e. parsley, cilantro, thyme). If after refrigerating the salad it seems a bit dry, add one tsp lemon juice and a half tsp honey. If it’s still dry add a splash of milk or half and half to get things moving. Serve with grilled salmon, a wedge of lemon and sriracha.

What You Need:

½ lb orzo
½ lb asparagus, cut into ½“pieces
3 Tbs fresh dill, minced and divided (to taste)
2 Tbs mayo
1 Tbs plain Greek yogurt , or an additional Tbs of mayo (I used 2%)
1 ½ Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp honey
¼ tsp kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)

What To Do:

Cook orzo in well salted water (or broth) according to the packages instructions. Add the asparagus during the last minute of cooking. Rinse orzo and asparagus thoroughly with cold water to stop the cooking process.

While the pasta cooks, whisk together 1 Tbs of the dill, mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper, then refrigerate.

Combine dressing, pasta, asparagus and remaining dill and mix well. Allow salad to meld in the fridge for as long as possible. It will still be tasty if you eat it right away, but if you have the time, make it a few hours ahead.

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**Edited to Add: makes 4 - heaping 1/2c servings

Nutritional Stats for 1 Serving

Bon App├ętit!


Pam said...

Looks and sounds wonderful!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Pam: Thank you :)

Donna Elick said...

Oh this looks perfectly delicious. What a great dish!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ The Slow Roasted Italian: Thank you! It really is light and freshing... sounds a little odd to describe an orzo salad that way, but it really is. I was going for 'a take on classic macaroni salad', sans heavy mayo and I really think this recipe delivers.

Made in Sonoma said...

I LOVE orzo! I'm bookmarking this one for sure!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Made in Sonoma: Me too! Don't know what it is about those tiny pieces of pasta, but they are just so tasty.