This pasta salad is the kind of side dish that will go with almost anything but topped with peppered broiled salmon fresh from the ocean, it makes for one super fine summery main course too.
Adapted from myrecipes.com, I couldn't see the point in throwing out perfectly good lemon rind so I took the liberty of adding it to the vinaigrette along with the juice, added more fresh dill and mixed snow peas with fresh asparagus for a little extra crunch. A quick blanch in boiling water followed by an ice bath brought the color out in the vegetables beautifully without sacrificing any crispness.
Incidentally in case you're checking the original recipe here, I doubled the dressing because I thought the salad needed the extra boost and next time I may switch the dill for freshly chopped basil and a little fresh mint just because I'm ornery that way. Chopped cucumber, crunchy bell peppers, artichoke hearts and a few kalamata olives substituted for the asparagus and snow peas and it would be a whole new song and dance of the Mediterranean variety. Don't get me wrong, it is absolutely delicious as written but just imagine what one could do to change it up some? Of course Big Guy informed me he'd eat it just like it is every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Yup he liked it...a lot. Surprised the heck out'a me because I thought the orzo would be too prissy for him.
Oh, in case your wondering how I cooked the salmon, I sprinkled a salmon fillet with Montreal Steak Seasoning, added a bunch of freshly ground black pepper then broiled it skin side down on high for 8 minutes. Left to rest for a few minutes to finish cooking, the skin was removed and the fillet crumbled on top of the salad. So easy and so darned delicious too.
Orzo Salad with Lemon Dill Vinaigrette from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from myrecipes.com
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Generous amount of freshly grated black pepper
Place all ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake to combine well. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to develop.
1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 3 inch pieces
1/2 pound snow peas
1 cup uncooked orzo
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add asparagus and snow peas. Blanch for 30 seconds to bring color out then remove immediately and place into ice water. Drain well and place into a large bowl. Set aside.
Add orzo to pot and cook for 8 to 9 minutes or until al dente. Drain well and add to vegetables. Add onions and toss with prepared vinaigrette. Refrigerate until serving time. Makes 6 servings.