Our LEMONY ORZO WITH ASPARAGUS makes the perfect light meal or a sensational side.
Spoiler alert! Here’s the pitch on this must-make dish;
Cook the orzo for five minutes.
Prep the remaining ingredients while the pasta cooks.
Stir the asparagus, garlic, and butter in with the pasta right after you drain it.
Cover and leave the pot undisturbed for five minutes.
Add the dill, Parmesan, and fresh lemon juice, then stir, season, and serve.
Now, although I know some of you are going to be able to make this based on the above, there are a few more things I’ll like to detail.
Before that though, a friendly reminder to PIN this recipe to a favourite pasta or side dish board. We’d also love you to SHARE the recipe with friends. The way we see it, everyone should try this tasty recipe.
Here are a few additional things to consider when you go to make this LEMONY ORZO WITH ASPARAGUS:
I’ve always been captivated by this favourite springtime vegetable – click HERE to learn more about this herbaceous perennial plant. We have lots of recipes that put fresh asparagus to good use. I’ve loaded three of our most popular ones at the bottom of this post in the related recipe section.
Prepping the asparagus for this recipe is super straightforward. Simply trim away the bottoms, then cut the stalks into tiny morsels, about the size of peas. Make sure to leave the very tips whole; they’re so pretty for presentation. The above photo should help you or watch this VIDEO for reference.
Something that often comes to mind while crafting this recipe is that I need to cook more with orzo. Last time I used it was in this WILD RICE AND ORZO SALAD. Also known as risoni, orzo is a form of short-cut pasta shaped like a large grain of rice. It gets top marks for ease of preparation – we’re talking a time-saving five-minute cook time for pasta with that ideal al dente tenderness. It helps make this recipe dead easy. Also worth mentioning is that you can get gluten-free and whole wheat versions too.
LEMON, GARLIC, AND DILL
There’s something so fresh tasting about this trio of ingredients. That said, if you’re not a lover of dill, try the recipe with parsley or fresh basil, and yes, the recipe does work with olive oil if you’d rather skip the butter. Having now made it a number of times, I strongly suggest you go with increasing the quantities to taste. So where I list one or two cloves of garlic, add two, maybe three! Same with the freshly chopped dill and lemon juice. A good rule of thumb; more is more!
Adding Parmesan to this dish just kind of made sense. A simple pasta with garlic and butter always welcomes this superior hard, salty cheese, but mixing it up with dill and asparagus is simply sublime. Same as above, add more cheese to the pot to suit your taste.
The last little helpful hint with this recipe is to explain the process. The idea here was to create a simple dish where the asparagus didn’t get overcooked and still has a bit of crunch. This is achieved by placing the asparagus, garlic, and butter into the pot with the still-hot freshly drained orzo. Leaving the mix to sit in a covered pot for five minutes does the trick. The pasta is just hot enough to tenderize the garlic and asparagus.
Frequent visitors to WATC know we love giving you options. In this case, you can serve our LEMONY ORZO WITH ASPARAGUS as a light meal by simply dividing the contents of the pot into two bowls, maybe adding a bit more Parmesan and a pass of fresh lemon zest (highly recommended!). There you have a perfect light lunch for two.