Make Ahead

Spring Asparagus Salad

May 30, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Serves 10
Author Notes

Lemony and fresh, this light salad is sure to wow at your next picnic or dinner party. Easy to convert to vegetarian, simply leave out the bacon and use a bit of butter to cook the mushrooms. This is easily doubled, and you can add and remove ingredients to suit your tastes. Enjoy! —CuppaTea

What You'll Need
  • Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • Salad
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, woody ends trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups orzo pasta
  • 6 pieces bacon
  • 1 pint button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges as garnish
  1. For the dressing, simply combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the tablespoon of sea salt, and the spears of asparagus. Blanch 1 minute 45 seconds. Do not drain the water, simply remove the spears with tongs to a bowl of ice-water. Drain and set aside.
  3. Add the orzo pasta to the same pot of boiling water. Cook until slightly under-cooked, about 6 minutes. Drain into a colander and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
  4. Slice the bacon slices into half inch pieces. Cook and stir in a medium pan over medium heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel. Drain most but not all of the fat, and add the quartered mushrooms. Brown them nicely, about five minutes, and remove to a paper towel. Allow to cool.
  5. Slice the asparagus spears into bite-sized pieces, about one inch. Slice the bunch of green onions (white and light green parts).
  6. Time to assemble in your prettiest bowl! Add the orzo, asparagus, bacon, mushrooms, and green onions, then pour over the dressing (give it a good shake first) and gently stir. Refrigerate at least one hour..
  7. Gently stir and check seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Slice the lemon and place the wedges around the bowl to serve.

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