Friends, rejoice! Summer–or at least summer-ish–weather has finally descended upon Michigan and it is good. In usual summer mode, I’ve been eating my weight in watermelon, strawberries, and fresh corn. Warren planted me a little garden for our anniversary this year and we have anxiously been watching it grow. Our watermelon has sprouted, as has the broccoli, and the potatoes are growing like gangbusters!
Whenever it finally starts to warm up, I start cycling this lovely Orzo Salad into the weekly menu plan. This tradition started when I was a grad student in Iowa because a big batch of this could keep me in lunches all week long. And there is nothing like fresh Iowa sweet corn.
When our sweet friends were in town they brought us this gorgeous asparagus straight from the Madison farmer’s market. We immediately sauteed half of it in copious amounts of butter and topped it with lemon and Parmesan. Which left us with yet another magnificent bunch to use in this salad. And of course, we were happy to oblige.
In other news, this weekend gifted me an absolute abundance of riches–my friends threw the loveliest baby shower and the little babe is now fully outfitted for the first year of his life. I had no idea just how thoroughly baby clothes/things/products could just spawn. Seriously, we basically have Buy Buy Baby set up in our living room. It’s not a terrible thing.
I am so lucky to know my talented bunch of ladies out here. They brought so much food, I didn’t even know what to do myself. Besides eat everything in sight, which I did and then some. And since they know how much we love to travel, they had the cutest travel decor, including paper airplanes, vintages suitcases, and of course that lovely air balloon cake (created by my pal, Steph).
Orzo Salad With Asparagus, Feta, And Pistachios
- 8 oz. orzo pasta
- 1 cup asparagus, chopped into 2-inch pieces
- 2 ears fresh corn (or 1 cup frozen)
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoons grainy dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 carton cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
- 6 oz. feta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring large pot of water to boil. Add orzo and cook for 8 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, make the spinach dressing by combining the spinach, olive oil, vinegars, mustard, and dried herbs in a food processor (or blender) and blending together until smooth. Set aside.
- Add asparagus to the boiling pasta and cook 1 more minute. Add fresh corn and cook for 1 more minute. Drain orzo and veggies in a colander and run some cold water over it to stop the cooking. Slice corn off the cob and transfer orzo and veggies to a large bowl.
- Toss with spinach dressing, red onion, tomatoes, pistachios, and feta. Salt and pepper to taste.