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Lemony Orzo With Asparagus

adapted from New York Times

Lemony Orzo with Asparagus
Lemony Orzo with Asparagus

Lemony orzo with asparagus is a delicious and healthy dish that features tender orzo pasta and fresh asparagus, all tossed in a flavorful lemon sauce and topped with a crunchy garlic panko.

Lemony Orzo with Asparagus


  • 1 cup orzo pasta

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1/2 cup EVOO, plus 1 Tbsp

  • 1 cloves garlic, minced

  • zest from 1 large lemon

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, use more if needed

  • salt and pepper

  • 1/2 cup panko

  • 1 small garlic clove, grated

  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving on top.

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or mint, or a combination of the two.


Serves 6 as a side

Pasta and Asparagus

  1. Cook the orzo pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, following the package instructions, until al dente. Two - Three minutes before the orzo is done add the asparagus. when done drain and reserve the pot.

Lemon Dressing

  1. While the pasta is cooking, in a large bowl, stir 3 Tbsp EVOO and the lemon zest and juice; Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the orzo and asparagus and toss to coat. Set aside.

Panko Crumbs

  1. In the reserved pot, heat 2 Tbsp EVOO over medium heat. add the panko and cook, stirring almost golden brown, 3 - 4 minutes, stirring in the garlic at the end of browning. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

Put it together

  1. Stir in the parmesan cheese and herbs, taste and adjust seasoning as needed with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

  2. Pour the mixture into a serving dish and top with the Panko and additional Parmesan cheese if you like.

  3. Serve warm or room temp.

Note: I have also done this with broccoli. I steamed the broccoli florets, then added them to the orzo.


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