The quintessential summer salad – this orzo pasta salad is loaded with fresh flavors of lemon and dill along with crunchy asparagus and walnuts. Goat cheese gives is a welcomed creaminess and another layer of texture.
- 16 oz. orzo pasta
- 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed, cut into 2” pieces
- 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
- 4 oz. plain goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- juice of 2 lemons
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped dill
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Start by cooking orzo according to package directions in a large pot of boiling water.
- When the orzo has about 2 minutes left, add the asparagus to the pot and let them finish cooking together.
- Strain orzo and asparagus and transfer to a large serving bowl and allow to cool for about 20-30 minutes. (If you’re in a hurry pop it in the fridge!)
- While the pasta is cooking, combine all dressing ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until emulsified.
- Add garbanzo beans, goat cheese and walnuts to salad.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.
- Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh dill and enjoy!
The pasta will need to cool after you cook it so that it doesn’t melt the goat cheese. You can leave it out on the counter for a half hour or pop it in the fridge to speed up the process. Either way, let the pasta cool to room temp or it will melt the goat cheese as soon as you start mixing it.
Use a log of goat cheese and crumble it yourself. The log has more flavor and moisture than the pre-crumbled goat cheese will.
If you’re not planning to eat the salad right away, toss with just half the dressing initially. Then add more dressing just before serving.
Keywords: lemon pasta salad, dill pasta salad, asparagus pasta salad, goat cheese pasta salad