I have had a bag of whole wheat orzo since I randomly bought some at the farmer’s market last fall and finally decided to put it to use. The combination of lemon, dill, and asparagus has been popping up a lot in the food blog world and I thought it sounded like a wonderful spring combination of flavors. I decided to go with a recipe from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food recipe collection, and adapted it to fit what I had on hand.
The end result was exactly what I expected: a flavorful and light side dish that is the perfect complement to chicken or fish. Now, I feel I need to mention that Marc was not a fan of this dish. I kind of suspected he wasn’t going to like it because of the lemon, but I think it was the dill that he was turned off by. The dill definitely contributes its strong flavor to the dish, so if you are weary of this herb definitely cut back the amount you add.
A couple of extra notes: I halved the original recipe, so I am unsure what size of baking dish to recommend using. Martha used a 3 qt baking dish for the full recipe so whatever would be the equivalent of half of that would work. Also, this would be great with chicken or shrimp baked right in with the dish would be a great one-dish meal. Martha used chicken and just cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces and baked it with the orzo the entire time.
Lemon and Dill Orzo with Asparagus
adapted from Everyday Food
8 oz whole wheat orzo
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2-3/4 lb asparagus, washed and cut into 1″ pieces
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In medium pot, combine the chicken broth, water, and salt, and bring to a boil.
In baking dish, combine orzo, feta, asparagus, dill, parsley, onion, wine, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Pour the chicken broth mixture over the orzo mixture and stir to combine.
Bake until the orzo is tender and the mixture is creamy. Sprinkle parmesan on top and let stand 5 minutes before serving.