Recipe | Pesto & Sun-dried Tomato Orzo Salad

Pesto Orzo Salad

I absolutely love pesto, so much so that I have at it at least once a week. Whether it’s on a pizza, spread over a piece of sourdough, or mixed into pasta. Shamefully, I’ve never actually tried to make pesto myself, but when it’s so reasonable to buy (perhaps even cheaper than making it yourself?), I think it’s okay! Maybe I’ll give it a go one day, but for now I’m happy with my jar of deliciousness.

As we move into spring, I’ve been looking to change up my lunch options and I find pesto is a great transition from cold winter months to warmer spring days. Whilst it’s salad, calling on Meditranean flavours with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil, it still has a warming feel to it with the creamy pesto, crunchy pine nuts and homely orzo pasta.

But enough talking about it, lets jump into the recipe! Of course, this is a rather simple recipe, more about bringing ingredients together, so you can easily swap out elements or add a few more.

Pesto Pasta Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 150g orzo pasta
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
  • 10 black pitted olives, halved
  • 4 artichoke hearts, sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 4 cucumber rounds, quartered
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1 handful rocket
  • Fresh basil
  • Pine nuts
  • Salt and black pepper

Method:

  1. Place your orzo in a large saucepan, with plenty of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes, following packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, prep your salad by tossing your spinach, rocket, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, radishes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and artichokes together. I didn’t add any olive oil on this occasion as the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, olives and artichokes was enough.
  3. Drain the orzo and add the pesto. Mix thoroughly and add to your salad. Season with a little salt and lots of black pepper, and tear in some fresh basil leaves. Toss together.
  4. Serve in large bowls with a sprinkling of extra rocket on top, pine nuts and a little extra basil.
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