13 May 2009

Lemon Orzo with Roasted Asparagus

our first share of the year

At last the season has begun and what better way to start than with asparagus. I picked up our first share gleefully last night and came home to parcel out one third of the share for our friend Nina, with whom we are sharing our share this year. Then, I cleaned and chopped one head of lettuce for a salad for dinner, and have I mentioned yet my miraculous new kitchen gadget, the salad spinner? I love it more and more every day.

I roasted my asparagus for this, one of my all time favorite dishes. I got it from The Star a couple of years ago and I make it all the time, with green beans when asparagus isn't in season, which is most of the year, of course. But it's superb with asparagus during that slim window in spring. (I used arugula instead of parsley - I wonder if it would work with lovage?)

The salad I made to accompany the orzo and asparagus is comprised of Fair Share Farm lettuce and spring onions, Root Deep Urban Farm arugula and Goatsbeard Farm Walloon cheese (both from Badseed Farmers Market), and almonds from an, ahem, undisclosed location.

Lemon Orzo with Roasted Asparagus + salad

Lemon Orzo with Roasted Asparagus
Makes 4 to 6 servings (as a side dish, 2 to 3 as main)
from The Star

1 cup orzo
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of coarsely ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
8 roasted asparagus spears
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley (also works with arugula)
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Slowly add oil to juice mixture, stirring constantly with a small whisk or fork, until well blended. Add to pasta and toss to coat. Cool to room temperature. Cut roasted asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Stir in asparagus, parsley and pine nuts.

• One medium lemon equals about 3 tablespoons of juice and 2 to 3 teaspoons zest.
• If you can’t use asparagus the day you buy it, store the stalks upright in a container of water as if it were a flower bouquet.
• To toast pine nuts, bake at 350 degrees 5 to 7 minutes or until just golden. Watch closely so they don’t over brown.
• Roasting is a simple way to prepare asparagus for maximum flavor. To roast asparagus, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Snap ends from asparagus and, if desired, remove scales with a vegetable peeler. Spray baking sheet with nonstick vegetable spray. Layer asparagus on baking sheet and spray generously with nonstick vegetable spray. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until asparagus is tender. If you prefer, roasted green beans would be a great alternative to roasted asparagus in this recipe. Prepare the same as asparagus but bake about 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.

Per serving, based on 4: 224 calories (25 percent from fat), 6 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 35 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 139 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

1 comment:

Laura Evrard said...

Mmm! This looks good!
Thanks for the comment you left on my blog awhile back, I didn't see it until today.