Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chilled Orzo, Bacon, Asparagus and Grape Tomato Salad

Staying cool has become part of the summer of 2012 for us. Today we hit 101 degrees!  If dinner cannot consist of ice cream, Popsicles and root beer floats, a chilled salad will suffice : ) ...with ice cream and root beer floats to round out those pesky food groups.

Chilled Orzo, Bacon, Asparagus and Grape Tomato Salad
8 oz. orzo
1 bunch fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 lemon, zest and juiced
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
Shredded Parmesan Reggiano
Bring 2 large pots of salted water to boil.
To one pot, add asparagus and blanch, about 2 to 3 minutes. Plunge blanched asparagus into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
To the second pot, add the orzo. Cook per package instructions. When tender, drain and place in a large bowl. Add blanched asparagus, tomato halves and bacon crumbled.
Whisk olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir in parsley and grated Parmesan Reggiano.  Stir into orzo and vegetables mix.

This can be served warm or cold.

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