It’s also worth noting that lemons vary quite a bit in size and juiciness so you may want to grab two to be on the safe side. A medium lemon usually gives about 2-3 Tbsp. juice, and a large can give about 4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup). I like to use about 1/4 cup lemon juice for this recipe (plus the optional zest for even more bright, lemony flavor) but feel free to increase/decrease the amount based on your palette. It’s such a simple dish but with bright pops of flavor from the fresh lemon, garlic, and parsley – and another easy recipe to modify to your taste so have fun!
Lemon Garlic Orzo with Asparagus
- 1 lb. asparagus
- 1 cup orzo pasta (uncooked)
- 1 large lemon (& optional zest)
- 1-2 cloves garlic (I like 2)
- 1-2 green onions
- 3 Tbsp. fresh parsley (more to taste)
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Optional: fresh basil, baby spinach, spring peas, cherry tomatoes, shallot, pine nuts, dairy-free parmesan for topping, etc.
- Cook orzo: in a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil. (You can opt for vegetable broth to add more flavor.) Add orzo, stir well, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender. Drain.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing: mince garlic and juice 1 large lemon, yielding about 1/4 cup lemon juice. (Zest a bit of lemon peel first if desired – I use this microplane grater/zester.)
- Place lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl, and set aside.
- Prepare asparagus: trim off woody ends, rinse, and cook as desired until just tender.* (See notes below for cooking options.)
- When cooked, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
- Roughly chop parsley, stems removed. Slice green onions.
- In a medium bowl, add all ingredients and pour lemon-garlic dressing on top. Toss to combine and salt/pepper to taste if desired.