Mediterranean Pasta Picnic Salad
Author: Aimee
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 30 mins
I'm convinced this salad is better after an overnight in the refrigerator, so consider making it in advance of your picnic or barbecue.
Ingredients
  • 1 bundle asparagus, washed
  • 1 cup dried orzo pasta
  • 1 large lemon, scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs leaves such as basil, oregano and chives
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 4-5 canned artichoke hearts
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, trim the ends off the asparagus and peel the bottom thirds. Slice asparagus into 1-inch lengths.
  2. Add the orzo pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 ½ minutes. Add the asparagus to the pot now and cook for an additional minute and a half (or until tender). Strain the orzo and the asparagus into a colander. Drain well, then transfer to a baking sheet and spread out to cool completely.
  3. Meanwhile, zest lemon into a medium bowl; juice it into the bowl, discarding the seeds. Finely chop the herbs and add them to the bowl. Grate the garlic in using a microplane or crush it in a garlic press. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix the dressing well until smooth and a little creamy.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled pasta and asparagus with the lemon-basil vinaigrette. Toss in the feta cheese, olives, artichokes and pine nuts. Mix well to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Recipe by Simple Bites at http://www.simplebites.net/mediterranean-pasta-salad-with-asparagus/