Sometimes, when I see I recipe, I can't stop thinking about it until I try it myself. That's how I have been with this asparagus and orzo. Asparagus is sort of always in season in SoCal, even though it's not as great now as it will be in a couple of months. I normally am not a huge fan of cooking with butter (unless it's a sweet treat), but I think the butter is essential here, plus if you use whole wheat orzo like I did, you can trick yourself into thinking this is a healthier dish. The leftovers keep really well for a few days so this was a great lunch to have at work last week. Now that I have had my first asparagus of the year, I am already thinking of more ways I can use it.
Orzo Pilaf with Asparagus and Prosciutto
(Adapted from Hungry Cravings)
Makes 2-3 servings
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
8 ounces orzo
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
8 ounces asparagus, trimmed of woody ends, thinly sliced on a bias
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving
Bring the broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat heat the oil and butter until very hot, but not smoking. Add the orzo and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the hot broth and simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the orzo is al dente. Stir in the prosciutto and asparagus and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange on individual plates, top with Parmesan, and serve immediately.