Orzo with Lemon, Asparagus and Peas

by Anne Bennett on March 24, 2015

Orzo

This recipe, which is perfect for Spring, arrived in my inbox several weeks ago from Weight Watchers. I tucked it away for safekeeping and made it last night for a quick weeknight dinner. It was utterly refreshing, bursting with the flavors of feta cheese, scallions and lemon juice.

Have you ever wondered why Weight Watchers devises recipes like this one that serve, ostensibly, 8 people?  Most of us don’t feed that many on a nightly basis. Then I figured it out: it’s a simple way for Weight Watchers to get the Points-per-serving down into the low range. This recipe makes about 8 cups total; if you want to keep it at the prescribed 5 Points per serving, you get one…measly…cup.

Go ahead and help yourself to another half-cup if you’re feeling voracious. It’s chock-full of vegetables and it’s that good. Oh, and leftovers (pictured above) make a terrific lunch the next day.

W & T

Baby Thomas likes to share his mushy peas with Whitman.

1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups asparagus, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
4 scallions, chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped, optional (I didn’t have any and didn’t miss it)
2 tsp. lemon zest, grated
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook orzo in salted water per package instructions and drain in a colander.

Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in asparagus and cook 2 minutes. Add peas and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, about 3 minutes.

Add drained orzo to skillet. Remove from heat and toss well. Stir in feta, scallions, remaining Tbsp. of butter, dill, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 8
WW Points per serving (about 1 cup): 5

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