Thursday, March 29, 2012

Picnic in a Jar - Spring Veggie Orzo Salad

Recently The Other Williams and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. We got all dressed up for a lovely dinner at our favorite restaurant but we spend the actual day of our anniversary picnicking.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know how much we love combining our two favorite things (outdoors and food). Not to ruin the surprise for newbies but it's a lot! We tried out this new recipe and absolutely love it! We tinkered with the original recipe to make it more our own. We added lots more veggies and lowered the amount of orzo.

Orzo is such a fun little food. It looks like rice but it's really pasta. It's great in hot or cold salads. The Other Williams is a huge orzo fan so when I found this recipe for our picnic there was no doubt it was going to be made.

The lemon-y dressing on this salad is just outstanding. We might even keep this around just to throw on regular salads or other pasta salads. This salad is packed with veggies! You can also play around with what veggies you have on hand or change it up depending on what's in season at your market.

Spring Veggie Orzo Salad

Makes: 2 Pint Jars

  • 1 bunch asparagus, about 3 cups diced
  • 1/2 cup dried orzo pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled
  • 1/2 can artichoke hearts
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cups sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, julienned
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp shallots, minced
  • 1/2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbsp cup olive oil 
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Pinch fresh ground black pepper

Bring a medium saucepan full of water to a boil. Turn off the burner, add in asparagus pieces and blanch for 2-3 minutes.

While the asparagus is going, mix together the dressing. We do this in a 1/2 pint jar. Add lemon, zest, vinegar, shallots, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper into a small jar. Screw lid on tight and shake vigorously for a minute or two. Drain the asparagus and rinse with cool water.

In a large bowl add cooked orzo pasta, asparagus pieces, and roma tomatoes. Drain artichoke hearts and quarter them, adding them to the bowl. Add in sun-dried tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Stir the dressing into the salad. Move to the refrigerator for at least 3-5 hours for flavors to combine. Serve cold.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe with us on Natural Mothers Network's Seasonal Celebration and best wishes for a very Happy Easter!
    Warmly, Rebecca x


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