Primavera Orzo Salad with Fresh Peas, Asparagus, Mint and Feta

22 Apr

Primavera Orzo Salad

Spring has definitely sprung. The wild flowers are wafting their sweet fragrance in the mornings where I run with the dog so my thoughts turn away from steaming hot soups and comforting stews towards lighter flavours and all things fresh and green.

Spring Flowers

I bought some fresh peas in their pods from the farmers’ market on Sunday. There is nothing more spring-like than peas, except for maybe asparagus. This recipe has both. In fact it has all my favourite spring flavours in one dish. There’s also fresh mint, dill, lemon, spring onions, spring garlic and feta. Is it singing to you yet?

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Orzo, in case you don’t know, is a rice shaped pasta. If you can’t find it (I got mine in Eroski, believe it or not, in the Moroccan section) you could use any small-ish pasta shapes or even cooked rice. The good thing about orzo is that it doesn’t go all flabby and stick together when it is cooked so it is perfect for salads.

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You toss all the ingredients and the dressing over the cooked orzo while it is still hot so all the flavours get absorbed and start to mingle. Leave it to cool to room temperature then you can store it in the fridge. The feta and fresh herbs are best stirred through just before serving. This is an ideal lunch that would be easy to take to work or for a weekend picnic.

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Primavera Orzo Salad with Fresh Peas, Asparagus, Mint & Feta Recipe

Serves 3, vegetarian.

  • 300 g uncooked orzo (or other pasta shapes)
  • 2 or 3 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 1 baby leek (or more spring onion), finely chopped
  • 1 spring garlic/green garlic/ajete, finely chopped
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 100 gr shelled fresh peas (or frozen)
  • a handful of fresh chopped dill
  • 12 fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 100 g Greek feta
  • toasted pine nuts (optional)

Cook the orzo in lots of boiling salted water for about 8 minutes until al dente and drain.

Meanwhile, cook the spring onions, baby leek and spring garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium heat with a pinch of salt some black pepper, the thyme, oregano and chilli flakes until softened. Mix this with the drained cooked pasta in large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice and season with salt & black pepper. Leave to cool.

Trim or snap the woody ends off the asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces. Shell the peas. Cook the peas & asparagus in boiling salted water for 3 minutes then drain and add to the orzo, Stir everything together well.

Leave to cool to room temperature. It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge from this point. When ready to serve stir through the crumbled or cubed feta and the chopped herbs. Taste for seasoning, add more salt or lemon juice if required.

Serve topped with some tiny mint leaves, dill fronds and toasted pine nuts, if using. I forgot to put mine on for the photos, duh…

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Say hello to spring even if it is raining where you are!

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Have a lovely week whatever the weather.

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9 Responses to “Primavera Orzo Salad with Fresh Peas, Asparagus, Mint and Feta”

  1. Darya April 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    Delicious combination, healthful and satisfying. The perfect spring dish!

  2. Fiona Flores Watson April 22, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    This sounds delicious, have asparagus in fridge and mint in garden needs picking – perfect for a warm Spanish spring evening!

  3. cecilia April 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    I have some orzo and was unsure what to do with it, thank you for this recipe.. c

    • Natalie Ward April 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

      And you have your beautiful home grown asparagus! Enjoy! x

  4. Three Well Beings April 23, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Our weather is all over the place, but more spring-like than any other! :-) I have fresh peas from our CSA…and I’m going to get some orzo today and this is dinner! It really is fresh and clean. :-)

  5. carolineelliott April 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

    Mmm, that sounds diving. I will definitely be trying it as I also bought some peas at the Sunday Market. Well done. Caroline

    Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 14:16:12 +0000 To: theladyo@hotmail.com

  6. Sharon May 4, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    I’ve only just found you, via Pinterest, and am loving the blog. Gorgeous photographs and inspirational dishes. I’ve been vegetarian for 30 years and can sometimes get into a rut with menus but I can see a few new ones being added to my repertoire! Thank you.

  7. Liz May 23, 2013 at 4:30 am #

    I was looking for a healthy recipe using orzo, and this looks perfect! The problem is that I cannot get feta here. Or fresh peas. Or mint. Nay a fresh herb in site to be perfectly frank. But I will be saving to Pinterest for when I’m in SA again!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Idéer för lunch | I gott sällskap - July 8, 2014

    […] med ärtor och sparris hittar du på Cook Eat Live Vegetarian. Jag har aldrig testat orzo som är som risformad pasta, fast ser väldigt gott ut. Ibland behöver […]

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