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Spring Pea Orzo

Photo: Helene Dujardin Styling: Margaret Monroe Dickie  

Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 1 hr, 30 mins
Yield

Makes 6 servings

The key to this crowd-pleasing salad is to toss the warm pasta with the dressing so the orzo soaks up flavor. Make it up to two days ahead, and serve any leftovers with ham.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 lemons
  • 8 ounces uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot or red onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas, blanched and chopped
  • 1 cup assorted chopped fresh herbs (such as mint, chives, and parsley)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

How to Make It

  1. Grate zest from lemons to equal 2 tsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons to equal 1/2 cup.

  2. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Whisk together shallots, next 4 ingredients, and lemon juice. Toss together pasta and shallot mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 1 to 48 hours.

  3. Toss together pasta, peas, snow peas, next 2 ingredients, and lemon zest just before serving. Add salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste.

Also appeared in: Southern Living, April, 2014;