Orzo is often not gluten-free, since it’s made from semolina flour which is not gluten free. But you can find gluten-free orzo in most stores now.
Have you ever tried orzo pasta? Once you do, it’ll surely become a favorite.Orzo is in the pasta class of pastina, or “little pasta”. What a cute name! Shaped like larger grains of rice, this pasta adds a new consistency to pasta salads. Combined with larger vegetables, it’s fun to eat. The olive oil in the dressing works nicely together with orzo pasta since it helps to avoid clumping after cooking. To cook, just follow the package instructions and you’ll be good to go! This lemon orzo salad is the perfect side dish to any main protein dish. It has this true explosion of flavor with the lemon, sunflower sprouts, and blueberries, as well as that creamy feta cheese combined with the crisp asparagus. I love how well it pairs with just anything! Watch out, this fresh salad might just stand out as a main dish if you’re not careful!
Let’s talk about asparagus!This chopped asparagus is low in calories but so rich in nutrients. It has micronutrients such as zinc and riboflavin, too. It’s rich in antioxidants and is one of my favorite fresh ingredients to put in my Sunday brunch salads. Every summer, we enjoy the benefits of asparagus since my kids like them, too!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this salad:Gluten-free orzo pasta is the base of this salad. The wonderful texture of the orzo works so well with the dressing ingredients! I enjoy this gluten free brand pasta. Olive oil is for the asparagus. You’ll cook it in a pan over medium heat. Fresh asparagus brings the whole meal together with its tender, crisp consistency and antioxidants. Green peas are rich in vitamins C and E, as well as helping to lower the risk of heart disease. You can thaw frozen peas or pick up fresh ones from the grocery store. Sunflower sprouts makes this delicious entree pop even more! With their selenium content, they help to promote heart health and to slow aging. Blueberries are one of my favorite seasonal fruits. They make any summer entree salad shine. They add to the beauty of this recipe with minerals and antioxidants. Goat cheese or feta cheese adds the salty flavor into this creamy orzo salad. It makes delicious recipes go to the next level and add extra protein, too.
And for the dressing:Extra virgin olive oil is a great base to start with. It helps for the drained orzo to not stick together. Fresh lemon juice makes this lemon asparagus orzo salad what it is and makes it shine at the table, adding flavorful citrus notes. Garlic cloves fight inflammation and always work well with fresh vegetables! Honey adds that touch of sweetness you didn’t know you were missing. In this lemon vinaigrette it evens out the tangy lemon and smooth olive oil. Kosher salt and black pepper are the classic spice options for this dressing and for the salad.
Now, let’s put it all together!
Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Blueberry
- ¾ cup orzo pasta, I use gluten free (140g)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ lbs asparagus, (220g)
- ½ cup green peas, fresh or frozen
- ½ cup sunflower sprouts, or other green sprouts of your choice
- ½ cup blueberries
- ⅓ cup goat cheese, or feta cheese (60g)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice, from about 1 lemon
- ½ tsp garlic, minced
- ½ Tbsp honey
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Wash and trim the asparagus. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- In a medium sized pan heat 1 tbsp of olive oil, add the asparagus pieces and cook for 2 minutes stirring a few times. The asparagus should be tender but crisp.
- Prepare a large pot of water and cook orzo according to the package instructions. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add the green peas. Drain the cooked orzo and peas.
- Into a jar or small bowl add the olive oil, lemon juice, honey and garlic. Cover with the lid and shake until the ingredients are well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix all salad ingredients and drizzle with the dressing. Top with crumbled cheese.