Vegetarian Caesar Orzo with Asparagus

May 14, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes Print This Post Print This Post

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Spring has sprung and so have the local farmers markets. The asparagus crop has come in so it’s time to start digging up (and making up) some recipes that use this bounty.

The vegetarian Caesar dressing makes this dish taste like a risotto without all that cooking time. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be sitting outside enjoying the nice weather than standing at a stove.

My measurements for the dressing are approximate – you may want more dijon or Worcestershire or perhaps less lemon juice. I suggest playing around a bit with the until you get the taste you want.

Vegetarian Caesar Orzo with Asparagus
by Megabeth

  • 1 14.5 ounce can vegetable broth (approx 1 3/4 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup orzo, uncooked
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces on diagonal
  • approx 1/4 cup vegetarian Caesar dressing (recipe below)
  • 2/3 cup shredded Parmesean cheese, reserve some to sprinkle on top

Vegetarian Caesar Dressing
by Megabeth

  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients for dressing in a small bowl. Whisk until all ingredients are combined. Set aside. (If using vegan mayo, expect to whisk a lot to make sure it incorporates into a creamy dressing. I used Nasoya Nayonaise which broke up until little chunks so I had to whisk for a bit to get it all into a smooth texture.)

Vegetarian Caesar Dressing

Bring water and broth to a boil in a large pot. Add uncooked orzo and cook for 3 minutes.

Vegetarian Caesar Orzo with Asparagus

Add asparagus and cook for another 7 – 8 minutes or until orzo is tender. Stir often to make sure orzo does not stick to bottom of pot.

Vegetarian Caesar Orzo with Asparagus

Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl. (If extra liquid remains, drain, then transfer to bowl.)

Vegetarian Caesar Orzo with Asparagus

Add vegetarian caesar dressing and stir to coat.

Vegetarian Caesar Orzo with Asparagus

Stir in shredded parmesean. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Sprinkle some extra parmesean cheese on top when serving.

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