Spargle, otherwise known as white asparagus, is a welcome addition to spring cooking. Spargle season denotes a time of celebrated frenzy around the unique cultivar (which is grown underground throughout regions of France, the Netherlands and Germany). Enthusiasts travel by busloads just to taste it. Others express their love in more interesting ways.
Although a quick trip abroad to savor the prized vegetable is not in the cards for me this spring, cooking with green asparagus, (which is currently overflowing at local markets) is a delicious way to celebrate spring’s arrival in my own kitchen. Particularly when it comes to this Spring Orzo Asparagus Bowl.
Ready in just 20 minutes, this Spring Orzo Asparagus Bowl is a love letter to the season of new beginnings. Sweet, delicate pea shoots, peek through a bed of lemony orzo adorned with tender, crisp asparagus, peas and mint. This bowl is all about no fuss, no muss and tons of seasonal flavor.
This spring orzo asparagus bowl brings the bounty of the season together in one quick, delicious and healthful dish.
Here’s to spargle season, or celebrating spring asparagus wherever you are!
Looking for more spring recipes? Take a peek here!Print
- 1 cup uncooked orzo (gluten-free if desired)
- 7 cups water
- a pinch or two of sea salt (crystalline or fine grain)
- 1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- Mint leaves and pea shoots (other names – pea tendrils, pea greens or pea tips)
- lemon zest
- flaky sea salt to taste
- Add 7 cups of water to a large dutch oven or saucepan. Add a pinch or two sea salt and bring the water to a rolling boil.
- Once the water is boiling, add the orzo and stir. Bring the water back to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Cook the orzo uncovered for 10 minutes. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus pieces.
- While the orzo is cooking, whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together. Set aside.
- While the orzo continues to cook, use a colander to thaw the frozen peas gently under warm water for a few seconds. Set them aside in a small bowl.
- Use the colander again to drain the orzo and asparagus (do not rinse).
- Return the orzo and asparagus back to the dutch oven or saucepan and add the peas and lemon/olive oil mixture. Stir gently to combine.
- Plate the spring orzo asparagus bowl and top with fresh mint leaves, pea shoots, lemon zest and flaky sea salt as desired. Enjoy!
- Serves 2-3 generous portions or 4 smaller portions.
- Serve the orzo immediately after cooking for best flavor and texture.
- Using gluten-free orzo? You may need to bump the cooking time up from 10 minutes to 11 minutes. Check your pasta for an al dente texture.