Spring is right around the corner, and while the weather might not look like it's received the memo in some areas, this recipe is a bit of spring inspiration that will surely lighten up your dinner plate no matter where you sit. It's a fresh and lovely pasta dish, bright with citrus and brimming with sweet and snappy peas, fresh herbs, and baby arugula.
The pasta in this recipe is orzo, which resembles rice, but is, in fact, made from semolina flour. It's toothsome and satisfying to eat, and the little morsels bind together this garden-fresh pasta salad. In this recipe, the orzo is cooked and drained, and while still warm, tossed with the peas and aromatics to release their flavor. Fresh herbs and arugula are then added to lightly wilt and release their aroma.
Pea and Orzo SaladActive Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes
- 12 ounces orzo pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup defrosted frozen peas
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 handful baby arugula, about 1 cup packed
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- Grated Parmesan or crumbled feta cheese for garnish
Stir in the oil and lemon juice and then add the peas, garlic, lemon zest, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Stir to combine and gently warm the peas. Add the arugula, mint, dill, and chives and stir to gently wilt the arugula. If the pasta is too dry, add 1 more tablespoon oil and taste for seasoning.
Serve garnished with the grated Parmesan or feta and freshly ground black pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.