This lemon orzo with asparagus and cherry tomatoes is just the right of amount of tangy, salty, and savory and makes the perfect side dish to any main course. Fresh lemon juice and zest are tossed with hot orzo, minced garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Blanched asparagus and tomatoes are added, and the dish is garnished with freshly minced parsley.
We served ours with baked chicken breast (I’d highly recommend Gimme Some Oven’s Baked Chicken Breast for a fool-proof way to make moist and perfect chicken every time), but I can see this being a complimentary side to lamb or seafood dishes, as well. Simple, nutritious, and flavorful – serve warm and enjoy!
- 1 bunch asparagus, stems removed and cut into 2 inch pieces
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved and drained
- 1 16 ounce pkg orzo
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 6 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 lemon zest (I used the same lemon before I juiced!)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- fresh parsley, for garnish
- Bring 4 cups of chicken broth + 6 cups water to a rapid boil. Pour in orzo and cook until al dente. Drain, but do not rinse.
- In the meantime, boil a smaller pot of water. Prepare an ice water bath in a separate bowl. When water has been brought to a rapid boil in the smaller pot, throw in the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until desired tenderness has been reached. Quickly drain and chill in the ice bath to stop cooking.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk the minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Combine the hot orzo pasta and the lemon olive oil dressing. When it is mixed well, add the asparagus and tomatoes, and garnish with parsley. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and serve warm.