spring orzo salad

I love orzo.

Over the past six months I moved (again) and began a design course at General Assembly in San Francisco. I decided to explore an interest of mine and it opened a million new doors: ideas for a career change, desire to take more classes, launching a new project, and hours of practicing all things Adobe (scary!!!).

I feel enthusiastic about this new venture in my life but also extremely overwhelmed. And what better way to ease anxiety than by cooking! and eating. . .

This salad certainly pleased the crowd, adults and children alike! The raw snap peas and fennel with the mildly cooked asparagus add a fresh crunch to the soft al dente orzo. And look at those colors. . . spring - in your mouth! 

If you are looking for a gluten free alternative you can totally swap the orzo out for quinoa or rice (I suggest brown or jasmine). I saw some crazy purple haze asparagus at the market after I made this and thought how incredible it would look with those green snap peas... mmm, next time.

Perfect to bring for a Memorial Day cookout, for lunch, or as a side dish with grilled lamb.

SPRING ORZO SALAD

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus, chopped into small pieces

1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped

4 green onions, white & green parts sliced thinly

1/2 bulb fennel, diced

1 bunch basil, leaves torn or sliced

1 cup orzo pasta 

zest & juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

generous sprinkle of salt & black pepper

Directions

Set two pots of water on the stove and bring to a boil. In one, cook pasta according to package. In the other, blanch the asparagus for 5 minutes.

When the pasta is cooked, drained and rinse with cold water. In a large serving dish combine the orzo, asparagus, snap peas, green onions, fennel, and basil. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper tossing the ingredients to coat the ingredients entirely in the dressing.

Serve cold or at room temperature and enjoy!

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