Buying my first bundle of asparagus every year marks a tectonic shift in our kitchen. I really feel able to let go of heartier soups and starchy roots as I begin to dream of the colourful greens that solely early spring can carry. Peas, wild nettles, brilliant salads, freshness…

At the moment I needed to share an excellent straightforward dish that lets asparagus take pleasure in its pure glory. Talking of pure glory… have you ever tried storing your asparagus in water? It is a good way to maintain the spears agency and recent. I just like the notion of treating asparagus like some other spring bloom… possibly I am only a produce nerd, however I might be fairly glad to get a bouquet of asparagus in lieu of flowers.


  • 1.5 cups raw quinoa orzo* (any orzo will do right here, or you could possibly substitute a couple of cups of cooked wild rice for this recipe)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 giant or 2 small preserved lemons (if you do not have entry to preserved lemons – I feel utilizing further recent lemon juice and recent lemon zest would make a pleasant substitution). For particulars on making your individual preserved lemons, here is a recipe for you.
  • half cup further virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon recent lemon juice + extra to style
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan + shaved Parm for serving
  • freshly floor black pepper and sea salt
  • for serving: arugula or chopped parsley; one other squirt of recent lemon juice; shaved Parm or crumbled goat cheese

*An area firm named Edison Grainery has been doing all form of attention-grabbing
issues with grains, particularly natural quinoa. We’re hooked on their quinoa crispies and I actually
like their quinoa orzo.


Fill and huge inventory pot with faucet water and salt very generously. Set pot over excessive warmth and convey water to a boil.

In a big mixing bowl, arrange an ice tub for the asparagus.

When the water involves a rolling boil, blanch asparagus slices till vibrant inexperienced and simply tender, relying on the thickness of your stalks, this might take 1-Three minutes. Do not pour out the cooking water, merely scoop out tender asparagus with a slotted spoon and instantly plunge the veg into an ice tub. Preserve your salty cooking water on the range and use it to your orzo.

Cook dinner orzo till it reaches your required texture. (For these of you utilizing the Edison quinoa orzo, I’ve discovered that the cooking time is for much longer than that urged on the bundle.)

Whereas the orzo is cooking, go forward and make your dressing. A be aware on preserved lemons: when utilizing preserved lemons, you wish to discard the flesh and use solely the peel. Rinse the items of preserved lemon peel and place them in a blender or meals processor. Add olive oil, lemon juice, grated Parm, loads of floor black pepper and salt to style. Blitz all elements. Style for seasoning and add slightly extra lemon juice and/or salt as desired.

When the orzo has completed cooking, drain and switch it to a serving dish. Pull asparagus from the ice tub, pat dry and add to the orzo. Generously gown the dish, including further salt or lemon juice to your liking.

Serve heat or room temp with ample freshly floor black pepper, shaved Parm or creamy goat cheese, scattered arugula leaves or chopped herbs. Though not crucial, I like to provide the dish one final squeeze of recent lemon juice simply to carry out the springy brightness.

Take pleasure in!

serves Four-6

BTW, did you guys learn the brand new piece by Mark Bittman about cooking and consuming in Berkeley? I am glad to see Mark so having fun with California produce
and our beloved Monterey Market, however I’ve to say… I am scared that
the already-insane car parking zone state of affairs is about to get a lot a lot