Sunday, June 12, 2011

Spring Vegetable Orzo Pasta Salad

(A friend made this recently, and we all LOVED it! From

12 ounces orzo pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled
1 bunch asparagus, about 3 cups diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
15-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1-1/2 cups (7-oz jar) sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, julienned
1 large lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil. Turn off the burner, add in asparagus pieces and blanch for 2-3 minutes. 
Drain the asparagus and rinse with cool water.

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a small sauté pan. Add in shallots and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, just until tender.

In a large bowl add cooked orzo pasta, asparagus pieces and sautéed shallots and garlic. Add artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes with oil, and lemon zest. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl or container, whisk together lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. While continuously whisking, slowly pour olive oil into the vinegar. Once emulsified, stir the dressing into the salad. 

Refrigerate salad for at least 5 hours for flavors to combine. Serve cold.

Makes 12-15 servings.

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