Asparagus & Broccoli Orzo Salad

Not having access to the Internet is a lot more difficult than I thought (well, at least when you’re not on vacation).  Last week was my first at my new job.  After rewriting my name, filling in all the special numbers, having my picture taken, and signing my name about 30 times- I am now allowed to have computer access!  Success!  I felt very out of touch with the world up until today.  Unless someone left a paper copy of an article, or was talking about a specific topic, I had no idea what was going on in the world (yes, that includes the Prince William-Kate wedding gossip).  So for all of those that have had busy days, this is a perfect salad- either to eat during your lunch hour, or enjoy when you get home and don’t have time to do much.

It’s asparagus season!  Last week I saw it for the first time at our Farmer’s Market, so it’s time to get cooking with it.  This is a great spring recipe- light, flavorful and fast.  Although I had made it for friends (when I made this dessert), we had plenty of leftovers for the two of us.  We don’t tend to buy alfalfa sprouts often, just because if you don’t use them fast enough they’ll get all soggy, but this was definitely a fantastic edition to this salad.

Asparagus & Broccoli Orzo Salad
Inspired from: 101 Cookbooks

1 cup orzo pasta, uncooked
1 lb asparagus; washed, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups alfalfa sprouts
1 cucumber, quartered and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup feta, crumbled

Bring a large pot to a boil, add 1 tbsp of salt.  Once the water is boiling, add the orzo and cook per package instructions.

This next step can be done in 2 ways:

1) About 30 seconds before the orzo is finished cooking, stir in the asparagus and broccoli.  Cook for 30 seconds, then drain and run cold water over the 3 ingredients.

OR

2) Once the orzo is cooked, drain it and run cold water of the pasta.  Then boil another pot of water, add the asparagus and broccoli for about 1/2-1 minute.  Then drain and run cold water over the vegetables.

In a small bowl whisk together the dressing: lemon juice, olive oil and 2 tbsp of salt.

Add the orzo, asparagus and broccoli to a large bowl.  Then toss those ingredients with the dressing.  Finally, add the alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and feta.  Toss once more for all of the ingredients to mix well.

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