Hello SPRING!!! When spring comes around I get so excited. There seems to be hope in the air as the weather starts to warm up, flowers begin to bloom, and new life seems to emerge here in Utah. Winters aren’t fun here to this Texan and I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy them. I’m a warm weather girl forever and always! This is also the time of year for my second favorite holiday – Easter! I have had this side dish idea for Easter in my head for a while now. I finally created it and had the chance to share my Primavera Orzo with Lemon Feta Dressing on my monthly TV segment with Good Things Utah.
It turned out even better than I imagined! Crunchy asparagus, spinach, peppery arugula, and orzo are tossed with a bright, tangy lemon feta dressing that makes you want to keep coming back for more. This lasted for days at my house when I was testing it and the veggies stayed perfect! Oh, and why “primavera?” Because it means “spring” in Italian or “sautéed vegetables.” I thought it was perfect because this dish is a little Italian and a little Mediterranean.
I had a blast making it with Ali Monsen on the set of Good Things Utah. We hadn’t filmed a segment together in a long time and she is always fun to be with! Watch my segment HERE.
How to Make Primavera Orzo with Lemon Feta Dressing
I love orzo pasta! It’s just rice-shaped pasta and is one of my favorites because it soaks up all the goodness that you add with it. Sauce, dressing, vinaigrettes, etc are able to coat all of those little pieces of pasta which makes your dish so flavorful. I use it all of the time!
One pound of sautéed asparagus goes into the salad and it’s very important not to overcook it. I sautéed it for about 3 minutes in olive oil. You want it to still have some crunch to it because it adds a delicious texture to the salad.
Look at all of those beautiful green ingredients! Asparagus, baby arugula, baby spinach, and fresh oregano. Pretty and delicious!
Finally, you make the Lemon Feta Dressing which is super easy to whisk together. It includes fresh lemon juice and zest, olive oil, Dijon, honey, garlic, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle it over the orzo and veggies then top with more feta if desired.
Primavera Orzo with Lemon Feta Dressing is the perfect side dish for Easter. You can serve it cold or room temperature and it honestly gets better as it sits for a few hours. Can you imagine adding cooked shrimp to it? That would be amazing too! I hope you add it to your Easter feasts this week and I hope you are able to spend the holiday with those you love.
More Easter Recipe Ideas
Primavera Orzo with Lemon Feta Dressing
- 1 lb orzo pasta
- 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut in 2 inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
For the Lemon Feta Dressing:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cook orzo according to box directions. Rinse with cold water to cool down, drain, set aside.
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add asparagus and cook until crisp tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a plate to cool.
- Make dressing by adding all ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk until combined.
- In a large bowl add orzo, asparagus, spinach, arugula, oregano and dressing. Toss until combined well. Top with more feta if desired. Serve room temp or cold.
- Will last for 3-4 days refrigerated. If leftovers become a little dry, just drizzle a little olive oil on and toss to “freshen up.”