Orzo pasta is mixed with bright veggies and tossed in a creamy, yogurt-dill vinaigrette. Perfect for entertaining or a brown-bag lunch, this dish can be made up to 3 days in advance.Warm weather has finally arrived here in Michigan and I couldn’t be more excited! We’ve had 70 and 80-degree days this past week and the outdoor farmers markets have officially re-opened for business. Fresh peas, asparagus, rhubarb, lettuces and more – I am so ready to welcome spring produce with open arms!
Fun Fact: 90% of households have ice cream in their freezers. (Myself included!) And if you live in the midwest, there’s a good chance you have Hudsonville ice cream in your freezer.
Random Side Note: I saw two familiar faces hanging on the walls at the Hudsonville corporate office! My former babysitter Paulina and my little cousin Alexa. These photos are a few years old but it was so fun to see!
After a fun two-day event in my hometown of Grand Rapids, UDIM challenged all of us to create dairy-filled recipes to go along with the seasons. Aside from cheese and ice cream, yogurt is probably my favorite dairy ingredient on the planet. Specifically, plain yogurt. I grew up eating plain yogurt almost every single day and continue to eat about a 32 ounce container every week by myself. It’s the perfect meat tenderizer, smoothie enhancer or sour cream replacement on a sweet potato.
This creamy orzo pasta salad is ideal with fresh peas but frozen peas are fine too. My husband requested carrots but use any fresh veggies that you can get your hands on such as radishes, celery or red peppers. To be honest, this dish is more about the dressing than the pasta: fresh herbs, garlic and lemon juice are whisked together with plain yogurt and silky olive oil to create a mouth-watering vinaigrette. Delicious on orzo, it would be just as good drizzled over grilled asparagus or roasted salmon.
Your fork is waiting.
Orzo Salad with Yogurt-Dill Vinaigrette
- 1 pound orzo
- 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
- 2 medium carrots (diced)
- 1 medium red onion (minced)
- 1 cup plain low fat yogurt
- 4 tablespoons parsley (minced)
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic (grated)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil and cook orzo according to package instructions. When you have 2 minutes of cooking time remaining, add the peas to the pot. Strain peas and pasta and set aside.
- At the bottom of a large mixing bowl, whisk together the Yogurt-Dill Vinaigrette: yogurt through olive oil.
- Add orzo, peas, carrots and onion to the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss well to combine. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Over time, the pasta will absorb a bit of the vinaigrette so feel free to drizzle with a little extra olive oil or lemon juice or add a bit of salt if needed before serving.