Lemon Orzo Primavera with Toasted Almonds

  • Recipesaladsides
  • I wasn’t exactly sure what “pasta primavera” was until I looked it up. It is a dish that contains pasta and vegetables. Orzo may look like rice, but it is actually a rice shaped past. This is great for a few reasons. Because it is pasta and not rice, this dish cooks up in a flash!

    Lemon Orzo Primavera with Toasted Almonds
    I was thinking about using peas in this dish but then remembered a certain time that Hunter Hann picked out every single green pea from his fried rice. But that’s another story for another time.He likes asparagus though, so I went with that instead.
    The flavors in this dish are so fresh! The lemon really brightens it up and while the Parmesan gives it that salty quality. Also, my last minute decision to add the toasted, sliced almonds was genius, if I do say so myself. It added a nice crunch factor to this already wonderful dish. Do yourself a favor; add the almonds.
    Lemon Orzo Primavera with Toasted Almonds
         serves 6
    1 lb orzo
    Chicken stock {or salted water}*
    1 lb asparagus, cleaned and stems snapped off
    3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
    1 Tbs olive oil
    Zest and juice of 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons
    1 C shredded Parmesan cheese
    1/2 C toasted, slivered almonds
    *I read a few orzo recipes online and the majority of the reviews that I read were that the dish was good but that it didn’t have much flavor. I realize that most pasta is cooked with water and not stock, and that unlike rice, you drain the excess liquid off. However, I wanted to do an experiment, so I used chicken stock instead. Feel free to use water and salt it a little, but know that you may have to add some more salt at the end.
    In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the orzo to the pot and give it a quick stir. Cook to al dente. This will only take a few minutes because the pasta is small. Drain and pour into serving dish. Add the olive oil and stir. Add the zest and juice of the lemon(s), and stir in the Parmesan cheese to melt.
    Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat and cut the asparagus into inch long pieces. Cook the asparagus until almost done, then add the chopped garlic to the pan. Finish cooking and remove from heat. Add asparagus and almonds to the orzo mixture and combine. Serve and top with additional Parmesan and almonds.
    I just served this up with grilled chicken for dinner and it was a great, light meal. I love when your pasta dish also contains your vegetables! It’s like you’re not even eating them!
    Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don’t like vegetables, it’s just that I LOVE pasta!
    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09141657258032695758 Cassie/Bake Your Day

      This is my kind of meal, perfect summer flavors!

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17550282314651409479 Two Infinity and Beyond

      This is perfect for Summer! I’m always looking for meatless meals so this is going in my recipe box. Thanks for sharing, love!

      xo,
      Allison

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10556748143167671943 Shari Mereness

      First: That pasta looks fantastic, perfect for summer. Second: I love your blog! So I’ve nominated you for the versatile bloggers award. Check out the post to find out more http://www.thesaucygourmet.net/2012/06/bang-bang-shrimp-lettuce-wraps.html

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00647357367962884324 Alex

      This looks so light and tasty, the almonds look like a great addition!
      Alex
      xx

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04489795426899175268 Jessica@AKitchenAddiction

      This is great for summer! I definitely will not leave out the toasted almonds when I make it! :)

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04292841944812910360 Carolina HeartStrings

      This looks like some kind of delicious dish. I cannot wait to try this recipe. Come and visit us on Friday. We are having a great giveaway. Flip flops that you will love.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11912164636084718557 Taylor

      What a perfect side dish for the summer! Light and healthy!