taste of today

Asparagus and Orzo Pasta Salad

NBC Universal, Inc.

Chef Chris Prosperi shares his favorite recipe for asparagus and orzo pasta salad.


  • 1 cup of orzo pasta, cooked in boiling salted water, drained and set in refrigerator
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, washed with the ends snipped and cut into 1.5-2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon of chili pepper flakes
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped chives
  • 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds


Cook and reserve the pasta.

On medium-high heat, place 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saute pan. When warm, add the asparagus and chili pepper flakes. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly browned then set aside.

Place the lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and honey in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together or stir vigorously with a fork.

Slowly add the olive oil while mixing to create a thick dressing.

Add the cooked orzo pasta, feta cheese, cooked asparagus, chives and sunflower seeds. Mix well.

Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, if needed.

This recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.

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