Spring Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Peas

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It is going to be 90 degrees here next month, but I’m not going to give up on Spring that easily!  You are going to have to get me away from these fresh spring salads kicking and screaming!  It just isn’t fair that spring is my favorite season and you basically blink and it is full on summer.  Like, A/C set to 50, sprinting from the car to the house, and eating popsicles in bed kind of summer.

But for a few more days I’m going to enjoy all the peas and asparagus I can stuff into my mouth.  And, thankfully salads never seem to go out of style, so we are all set there.  So, let’s talk about this salad.  We eat a lot of pasta in this house and since it is common knowledge that mini food tastes much better than regular sized food orzo has always been a favorite of mine.  But, gluten free orzo isn’t something that you see in the grocery store all the time so I always get super excited when I spot some.  While I normally prefer to eat gluten free brown rice pasta, this corn based orzo was the only thing I could find so I didn’t have much of a choice.  Sometimes you gotta make a few sacrifices when you have something specific in mind.

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I make so many salads like this one that I don’t post on here because they would all be pretty similar to each other; pasta, veggies, and a simple lemon dressing.  Which is a delicious combination and perfect for a quick dinner, but you guys might get bored and I would never want that!  But I convinced myself that this salad was exciting enough to post and I hope you agree with me.  I really love the combination of mint, peas and feta and I think those three ingredients really take this salad to the next level.  The arugula is nice for adding some roughage to the salad and the asparagus because, hello, it is a spring salad and you can’t spell spring without asparagus! 

The dressing is really simple for this salad, but so good.  I started exclusively making my own salad dressings a few years ago and now it is hard to even stomach most of the store-bought ones because they are so sweet.  My favorite simple dressing consists of lemon juice, olive oil, and liquid aminos.  It takes about 3 seconds to make, most times I just add the ingredients directly on top of the salad, and is perfect for most types of salads.  I added a little bit of dijon to this dressing to make it a little thicker, and it really gives it a nice little punch.  Whether you are just starting to enjoy some spring weather or you are like me and hanging onto the threads of spring as long as you can, I think you will love this fresh orzo salad :)

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spring Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Peas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Salad, Gluten Free
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups dried orzo
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1½ cups diced asparagus, about ½ inch dice
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
Simple Lemon Dressing:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • juice of ½ a large lemon
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Fill a medium sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add orzo and cook according to package directions. Make the dressing by adding all dressing ingredients into a small bowl and whisking until combined. Set aside.
  2. While orzo is cooking, place a large pan over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Next, add the frozen peas and cook for about 2 minutes. Once peas are almost finished, add the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and cook until peas are warmed through and asparagus is tender. Try not to overcook.
  3. Drain the orzo and add the peas, asparagus, arugula, feta and mint. Slowly drizzle dressing over the top of the salad just before serving. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
Notes
Salad tastes great served warm or cold.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Asparagusssss!! I had some for the first time this season just a couple of days ago, and I wish I could curl up in a bundle of it and have to eat my way out. This orzo salad looks light and perfect for the spring weather we JUST got here. At least we don’t quite get to the Popsicle in bed stage most years

    • She Likes Food says

      I feel like my grocery store always has asparagus on sale, like year round, but I only try to buy it in the spring because it seems wrong to be eating it in the winter time! Hahaha, that sounds amazingggg!!!! I think we are already at the popsicle in bed stage :(

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you so much, Gayle! Mine too! I’m not loving the warmer weather, but I am loving all the salads I’ve been eating these days!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Marcie! When I showed it to my husband his response was, it looks so herby, haha! I love all the veggies and goodness too though :)

    • She Likes Food says

      No A/C???!! EEk! I’m so sorry! I think it is illegal not to have A/C in Tucson, haha! Cold showers are awesome in the summer though! I’m praying for a mild summer, haha!

  2. says

    I really need to start making my own homemade dressing. I tried a store-bought one the other day and almost gagged. This looks delicious and perfect for Spring! Even if it is 90 degrees 😉

    • She Likes Food says

      I usually just do a really simple dressing, but it is so fun to make more complicated ones too! It was so hot outside today I had to take all my pictures in like 2 minutes! I could go for a salad right now :)

  3. says

    I’m with ya on the salad dressing… I still buy ranch from time to time, but your recipe is going to change that! (It’s on the list!)

    This recipe is delicious, Izzy.. it’s so fresh and springy… I can never have too many salad recipes on hand! Love the mint too!

  4. says

    such a pretty salad Izzy! I love orzo, and I’m impressesd you make your own dressing. I need to make my own ranch (my fave). I used to make ranch at this restaurant I worked and I loved it. Pinning :)

  5. says

    We were at my daughter’s softball game last night and it was in the 40’s..brr. Monday it is supposed to be in the 80’s… our crazy new england weather isn’t giving much of a spring either! But this salad will make me feel like spring no matter what the weather- yum!

  6. says

    This is my kind of salad, Izzy! Love the combination of asparagus and peas with orzo – also love the bite that arugula gives it and the salty feta. I could make a big bowl of this and eat it over a couple of days – non stop! I also need lunch ideas – will be adding this to my lunch rotation.

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