On Canada Day, I took an orzo salad to our celebration.
Not only was it yummy, it was easily transported in little canning jars.
And it combines asparagus with grape tomatoes along with the orzo and is very easy to make.
The recipe is from Tasty Kitchen, love that site for recipes.
And in case you want to try this salad yourself, here's the recipe:
½ pounds Orzo Pasta
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 bunch Asparagus
1 pint Grape Tomatoes
4 whole Scallions, White And Greens, Sliced Thin
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
5 Tablespoons Pesto (or More To Taste)
1 Tablespoon "A Salt For All Seasonings" (see Note) Or More To Taste
Cook orzo according to package directions for al dente. When it’s done, pour it into your colander to drain and then immediately begin running cold water over it to completely cool it down. Toss it with a Tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
Slice the tips off of your asparagus, and set the tips aside. Using a peeler, lay your asparagus stems on your cutting board and peel “up” against your flat asparagus, getting some nice shavings… Continue this until you have about a cup full, and set it aside.
Cut all of your tomatoes in half, set aside.
Fill a small pot with water and throw in a pinch of salt, bring to a boil. Add your asparagus tips and blanch them for 1-2 minutes (depends on how thick your asparagus is…you want it crisp tender). When done, remove the asparagus tips to a paper towel using a slotted spoon. Keep the water in the pot and on the heat.
As soon as your water goes back to a boil, add in your asparagus shavings and blanch them for 20 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon to a paper towel.
Combine your asparagus, tomatoes and scallions with the orzo. Then, add in the lemon, pesto and seasonings.
This can be made a day ahead… If you do this, cover it tightly and keep in the refrigerator. Add a Tablespoon or two of pesto to refresh it just prior to serving.
Note: The recipe uses A Salt for All Seasonings made by Market Day Gourmet(I didn't have it). Essentially it is a combination of sea (or kosher) salt, dehydrated onion and garlic, paprika, dried parsley and if you can find it dehydrated lemon peel. I used salt and pepper only but do think the use of fresh lemon peel with the garlic and onion would be even better.