This herbaceous lemon orzo salad is a wonderful Spring side dish incorporating fresh seasonal produce like asparagus and arugula, garlic, and feta. Naturally vegetarian.
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Today I have for you a light and refreshing orzo salad starring seasonal spring produce. It’s the time of the year for both asparagus and arugula. Two of my favorites 😍. Yay!!
Pasta salads also begin making a comeback in my diet every May. I’m sure you can relate.
This base for this salad is orzo, which is a short-grained pasta that resembles rice.
The stars of this dish though are the arugula and asparagus. I’m sure you’re all familiar with asparagus, but what about arugula? Not so common…but it should be!! Arugula is an herb that belongs to the mustard family. It is peppery and slightly bitter.
It pairs really well with citrus thus the lemon dressing which incorporates plenty of frangrant garlic, because every dish needs garlic. Am I right?!?
Anyway, this salad is light and refreshing making it a perfect choice for a warm spring or summer day. It’s naturally vegetarian and pretty healthy too. It can be served as a side dish or you could even incorporate some grilled or baked chicken and make it a main dish.
So what do you need to make this salad?
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: I recommend light or extra-light extra-virgin olive oil if you have, so the flavor of the oil does not overpower the other flavors. Your stand extra-virgin olive oil will work as well though.
- Asparagus: The ends will need to be trimmed. The best way to do so is to just break them off. No need to cut.
- Kosher salt
- Orzo: If you’re not familiar with orzo, it is a short-cut pasta that resembles a grain of rice.
- Lemon juice: I highly recommend fresh squeezed lemon juice for this recipe. Bottled lemon juice will work fine in a pinch.
- Black pepper
- Feta: If you can find, get the block style feta and crumble it yourself. It is moister and more flavorful than the pre-crumbled variety.
How do you make this lemon orzo salad w/ asparagus, arugula, & feta? (+tips)
Begin by heating one tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauté pan.
Add the asparagus and sauté for five minutes. It should be slightly soft, but still crunchy. Transfer the asparagus to a large bowl to cool.
Bring six cups of water to a boil. Add one teaspoon of salt and the orzo. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the garlic, lemon, juice, three tablespoons olive oil, one teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
When the orzo is finished, immediately transfer it to a strainer and run cold water over it until cool. All the excess liquid to drain then transfer orzo to the bowl with the asparagus.
Add the arugula, feta, and the lemon dressing.
Toss to combine and serve immediately or refrigerate for later.
How to store
Refrigerate for up to seven days in an airtight container.
If you make this lemon orzo salad w/ asparagus, arugula, & feta I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instragram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light and happy cooking ya’ll ♥
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch asparagus, approximately 1 pound, end trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 16 ounces orzo
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/8 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 heaping cups arugula
- 4 ounces crumbled feta
- Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a medium sauté pan.
- Add asparagus and sauté for five minutes or until asparagus is slightly softened, but still crunchy.
- Transfer asparagus to a large bowl to cool.
- Bring six cups of water to a boil.
- Add one teaspoon of salt and the orzo and bring back to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine garlic, lemon, juice, three tablespoons olive oil, one teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
- When orzo is finished, immediately transfer to a strainer and run cold water over it until cool.
- Transfer the orzo to the bowl with asparagus. Add the arugula, feta, and the lemon dressing and toss combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.
Storage: Refrigerate for up to seven days in an airtight container.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 184Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 533mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g
The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc