The original MTNMAMA

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Lemon Orzo Salad and Asparagus and Tomatoes

Cool Eats for Warm Weather which seems to be HERE NOW!!

Miss Ella with Auntie Kristy...soon to be the new Dr. Smith and her mama, Jenny.  Kristy is a wonderful "Auntie" to Miss Ella. We will miss her so when she leaves next week. We have had beautiful weather for the past two weeks but now it is getting HOT again. The weather stations say we are already in a June/July weather pattern. GREAT!! Last summer was the hottest we had experienced in 17 years in Tulsa....guess there's more to come this summer!!!
 Jeff has had a rough week. We are supporting him with fluids, platelets and blood. It will take several more weeks before we can give him another round of Dacogen, Till then we will go daily to the clinic and if needed to the hospital. Prayers for strength, courage and stamina are greatly appreciated as well as healing. We are planning on getting him to graduation tomorrow to "Hood" Kristy no matter what it takes. So far the plan is to have him resting off stage until Kristy is called then our son-in-law, Jon, who also is a Dr., will get him to the stage via wheelchair. Pray all goes smoothly and this is a very memorable event.

So in view of the summer like weather today we are making:

Lemon Orzo Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes

Shopping List:

12 ounces Orzo Pasta

1 lb fresh asparagus cut into 1-11/2 in pieces

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes halved

1 lemon, juiced and zested

4 TBSP Extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

2 TBSP fresh parsley minced

Kosher Salt

Fresh ground pepper

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a big pinch of salt to season the water.

I used whole wheat orzo but you can use regular if you prefer. Measure out 12 ounces of the dry pasta. I do mine by weight.
Now dump the pasta into the boiling water. Cook per package instructions. About 10 minutes or until tender.
Drain pasta and put in a large bowl.

While pasta is cooking prepare the asparagus, tomatoes and dressing.
I use my handy Pampered Chef steamer for the microwave to cook my asparagus. I have had it for years....(a great gift from my college roomie) and I use it all the time.

Cut asparagus into 1-1/2 inch pieces and put in steamer with 1/2 cup water. Cover and microwave for 5 minutes.
Take steamed asparagus and immediately put into an ice water bath. This is called blanching. It helps the asparagus to stay crisp and retain the beautiful green color.

Let the asparagus chill in the water until cooled then drain and pat with a paper towel to remove the water from the stalks.

Cut your tomatoes in half lengthwise.

To make the dressing...
First zest the lemon. Then Juice the lemon. I use a recycled jar with a lid so I can "shake" the dessing to mix it together in the end.
Mince the garlic and put it into the jar.
Add salt and pepper and chopped parsley.

Drizzle olive oil into jar with lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Close with lid--tightly and sake vigorously.

Now mix the asparagus and tomatoes together
Add orzo to the above mixture.

Add dressing and stir to combine. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano. This can be served warm, room temperature or cold.
This light salad is a great addition to picnics. It can be made into a main course by adding protein such as chopped grilled chicken or steak. Hope you enjoy this while having fun this summer!!

Tomorrow is a BIG DAY in our family. Our youngest daughter is graduating from Medical School.

Oh My GOSH...... we have another Dr. Smith in the house!!!

Happy Trail,

Mtn Mama

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