I absolutely love this Orzo Salad with peas and asparagus as a delicious summer salad. When I first heard of Orzo I thought it was this fancy ingredient that would so difficult to find in a local grocery store and even more difficult to cook. I could not have been more mistaken. These little pasta pieces are just the beginning of so much goodness!! Firstly, they were on the self right along side all the other pasta packages and cost the same as regular pasta. I can probably make this recipe four times with just the one bag of pasta which makes the frugal side of me very happy. Preparation was just as simple as finding them.
This orzo salad combines fresh herbs (or frozen), sweet peas and steamed crisp asparagus and the parmesan cheese just brings it over the edge of delicious!! If you put fresh peas from your garden in this salad?? Oh my! Nevertheless, I was delighted with the results of this salad and the way the orzo is cooked, I could honestly see myself serving just the plain orzo as a side dish with chicken or pork chops.
Orzo Salad with peas and asparagus
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion , finely chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cup orzo pasta
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen peas , defrosted
- 1 cup asparagus , lightly steamed
- 1/4 cup fresh basil , finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp butter
Heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium low heat. Sauté onion and garlic until the onions translucent. Add in the orzo and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Add frozen peas to pot and heat through. Drain any excess fluid.
Transfer mixture to bowl and stir in butter and parmesan cheese while it’s still hot. If the orzo appears to be sticking together, drizzle in some olive oil.
Mean while, lightly steam asparagus. When asparagus is tender crisp, transfer to bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Once cool, pat dry with paper towels and cut into 1” pieces. Mix in with orzo.
Finely chop fresh basil and stir into salad. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. Top with additional parmesan cheese just before serving if desired.