This orzo is a great light side dish for spring or summer with its burst of lemon flavor, asparagus and ripe cherry tomatoes
Orzo is a pasta, just picture a smaller version of spaghetti, that has virtually no flavor until you add something to it, like pasta sauce or in this case a some light oil, butter and oil.
I’ve made my Creamy Garlic Parmesan Orzo recipe so many times now I thought I’d try something new. I thought the light lemony flavor would be great but I never expected it to be this good!
I stared by just cooking the Orzo as I usually do. I sauté it in a little butter to brown it (just like rice) and then add homemade chicken broth. While that takes about 10-25 min to cook I’m making my main dish, which tonite just so happened to be Baked Fish.
There’s just such a great smell that permeates the kitchen when I make Orzo and tonight I was so excited to add the freshly squeezed lemon and asparagus to it!
- I grilled the asparagus first. This may take more time, but I had grilled some the night before and used the leftovers in this recipe. I think the grilled asparagus adds more flavor. You can roast it too if the grill isn’t an option. Be careful not to overcook the asparagus though, you still want a little crunch to it.
- Also this recipe is best made during the late Spring/Summer months. I got my cherry tomatoes straight from my garden and I have to admit there is no better feeling than watching your kids go grab some fresh food off the vine and bring it right into the kitchen. So between the asparagus being in season, and my tomatoes and parsley being homegrown ….. the flavors were incredible!
- This is AWESOME cold the next day. I actually ate it for breakfast, no joke.
Have you seen this shortcut way to cut a bunch of cherry tomatoes? It’s genius!Print
- 1 ½ cups Orzo Pasta
- 16 oz chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 bunch cooked asparagus cut into 1″ pieces (I grilled mine outside)
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and add the orzo. Cook on med heat until the pasta starts to brown like rice would
- Very carefully, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and continue to simmer on low heat approx. 20 min or until orzo has absorbed the liquid. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking
- Meanwhile, mix the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper together in a small bowl
- Chop your asparagus into 1″ pieces and halve your tomatoes
- Add the lemon mixture and vegetables to the orzo and stir until incorporated
- Garnish with parsley and serve