Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus

Happy Spring! Let's take a moment to celebrate asparagus back in season - woo! 🎉 I absolutely love the fresh, new flavors that each season brings. And this easy side dish highlights one of spring's finest with only 6 simple ingredients & 20 minutes to prepare. 

I lightly steam my asparagus, but it definitely works with whatever your go-to cooking method is - roasting, grilling, broiling, etc. (If you need inspiration or more guidance, here's an article from The Spruce with 8 Ways to Cook Asparagus.) Most veggies typically dull in color when cooked, but isn't it beautiful how asparagus actually brightens up even more when steamed? Gorgeous!! 💚

Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus


Ingredients
  • 1 lb. asparagus
  • 1 cup dry orzo pasta
  • 1 large lemon (& optional zest)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (I like 2)
  • 1-2 green onions
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, more to taste
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Optional: fresh basil, baby spinach, spring peas, cherry tomatoes, shallot, pine nuts, dairy-free parmesan for topping, etc.

Directions
Cook orzo: in a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. (You can opt for vegetable broth to add more flavor.) Add orzo, stir well, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, make the dressing: mince garlic and juice 1 large lemon, yielding about 1/4 cup lemon juice. (Zest a bit of lemon peel first if desired - I use this microplane grater/zester.)
Place lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl, and set aside.
Prepare asparagus: trim off woody ends, rinse, and cook as desired until just tender.*
When cooked, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
Roughly chop parsley, stems removed. Slice green onions.
In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and pour lemon-garlic dressing on top. Toss to combine and salt/pepper to taste if desired.

*Two methods of steaming asparagus:
1. If you have a steamer basket, steam for about 3-7 minutes, depending on how thick the stalks are.
2. Place 1 cup water in a large skillet and bring to a boil. Add asparagus, cover, and steam for 3-7 minutes or until stalks are just tender (taking care not to overcook!)
You could also grill, roast, or broil, etc. the asparagus - any will work for this recipe!

Recipe Source:thegardengrazer.com

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