1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 quarts water
8 ounces orzo pasta
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey mustard
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
To trim the asparagus, just hold the stem in your hand, and bend it gently until it snaps--it will break where the stem is tender (the bottom part is woody and fibrous). If you want make it look pretty, cut it at angle.
Add the orzo to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes.
Now add the asparagus and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the orzo is al dente (take care not to overcook it!).
Drain immediately into a fine-mesh colander.
If you don't have one, you must get one before you make this dish, otherwise all your orzo will go down the drain, since it's a very tiny pasta (and please excuse the mess in my sink!).
Immediately rinse the orzo and asparagus under cold running water to stop the cooking process. This keeps the asparagus a nice bright, green color and stops the pasta from continuing to cook and become mushy (mushy pasta salad is not good!).
In a separate bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, honey mustard, and basil. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
Add this dressing to the pasta, and toss again.
Turn the salad into a serving bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours to meld the flavors.
I liked this recipe because I could make it in advance, and it was really simple. I had all the ingredients on hand except the basil (my basil is about 1 centimeter high in the garden, so it's definitely not ready to pick yet). So I had to use dried basil (boo hoo).
This salad tasted even better the next day...so hope for leftovers! The kids were okay with it the first night, and protested the second night (so they had pizza). David's not crazy about pasta, but he had seconds and told me I could make this "anytime." SCORE one for me! I admit...I am pretty happy to find a pasta recipe that my hubby likes!
I hope you enjoy another meatless recipe from me to you!
God bless your table tonight!