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Chopped Vegetable Orzo Salad

We were very excited to welcome our first local asparagus of the season this week. It’s so tender and flavorful you can enjoy it raw! This week’s recipe is a simple pasta salad to highlight the asparagus, along with fresh sweet corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion and radishes. Tossed with a simple lemon dressing, lots of parsley and crumbled feta, it’s the perfect make-ahead side dish to brighten up your holiday weekend spread.

You can really use any assortment of vegetables from your PIP box in this salad – make it your own! Feel free to swap in any small pasta, like elbows, for the orzo. Other cooked grains, like bulgur wheat or farro, would be delicious, too. You can also add canned chickpeas and sliced olives, or fold in chopped grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a main dish.

Did you discover this amazing asparagus in your box this week? We’d love to see how you’re enjoying it, along with the other local produce we rescued, including rhubarb and lettuce! Be sure to snap a photo, post it to social, and tag us @perfectlyimperfectproduce so we can check it out!

Chopped Vegetable Orzo Salad

Active time: 20 Min.

Total time: 20 Min.

Servings: 6 to 8 side dish servings


8 ounces orzo (or any small pasta)

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ bunch Perfectly Imperfect asparagus

2 ears Perfectly Imperfect corn

1 Perfectly Imperfect bell pepper (any color)

2 medium Perfectly Imperfect tomatoes

¼ large Perfectly Imperfect red onion

4 Perfectly Imperfect radishes

½ cup finely chopped parsley

½ cup crumbled feta cheese


¼ cup Perfectly Imperfect lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons water

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper


Cook the orzo according to package directions in salted water. Drain, then rinse under cold running water. Drain well and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil; set aside.

Trim the asparagus and cut into ½-inch pieces (you’ll need about 2 cups). Shuck the corn, then cut off the kernels. Chop the bell pepper, tomatoes (remove the seeds), and red onion. Thinly slice the radishes into thin moons.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, water and Dijon mustard in a lidded jar. Shake to combine, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with the cooked pasta. Fold in the parsley and feta; dress to taste.

Salad can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. It may need more dressing before serving.

By Carolyn Hodges MS, RDN

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