This orzo pasta salad is loaded with asparagus and artichokes. A bit of white wine vinegar and lemon juice make this the perfect salad for a summer picnic or for a simple side dish.
1 bunch asparagus, about 3 cups diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces orzo pasta, cooked to al dente and cooled
15-ounce can artichoke hearts
1-1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, julienned
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
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 in the water, heat one tablespoon olive oil in a small sauté pan. Add in shallots and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, just until tender. Drain the asparagus and rinse with cool water.
In a large bowl add cooked orzo pasta, asparagus pieces and sautéed shallots and garlic. Drain artichoke hearts and quarter them, adding them to the bowl. Add in sun-dried tomatoes with oil and lemon zest. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl or container, whisk together lemon juice, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. While continuously whisking, slowly pour olive oil into the vinegar. Once emulsified, stir the dressing into the salad. Move to the refrigerator for at least 5 hours for flavors to combine. Serve cold.
Makes 10+ servings.
(image + recipe via food for my family)