Saturday, July 11, 2009

Basil Pesto Orzo Salad

Pesto is a simple sauce that can be used in so many ways! I had a couple people over for the 4th of July and decided to make an orzo pesto salad. So where do I turn for a great Pesto recipe? That's right...Martha! I have Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook which gives a great step by step recipe for Pesto. If you're a garlic lover like myself you'll love this recipe. If you're not a huge garlic fan Pesto might not be for you.

3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups of loosely packed fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon of coarse salt
1/3 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
(I used a food processor even though Martha suggests to use a mortar and pestle). Pulse together basil, garlic, pine nuts, & salt until the basil is pulverized and the pine nuts and garlic are pasty. Add cheese and pour oil in a slow steady stream and mix until combined. Serve immediately.

The pesto orzo salad is a breeze from here. Just make the orzo according to the package. Rinse with cold water to cool and cover with pesto. Chill for 30 mins. You can cut up tomato and mozzarella to add to the salad as well.

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