Thursday, November 21, 2013

Whole-Wheat Orzo w/ Artichoke Almond Pesto

On so many nights Paul asks the question: What do you want to do for dinner?

About 80% of the time I answer that I want "the orzo."  Tonight was no exception.

I have been going through a serious lemon phase recently.  I want it on everything (I even put one in a Yuengling - it was good), especially bitter greens and garlicky pasta, and there are more recipes to post on that front, but it all starts here.  This pasta dish makes great leftovers and I always look forward to having it for lunch at work.

If you're new to cooking, this dish will make you feel quite proficient.  This beautiful, rustic, nutty pesto is virtually impossible to foul up.

Okay, enough with the chit-chat!  On to the good stuff...

Whole-Wheat Orzo w/ Artichoke-Almond Pesto
adapted from Healthy in a Hurry

  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 8 oz. dried whole-wheat orzo
  • 6 drained canned or thawed frozen artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Spread your almonds in layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. (If you're using sliced almonds, it will be less than 10! Pay attention to the aroma coming from your oven.)
They will be beautifully golden and deliciously aromatic.
Immediately put onto a plate or into a bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, cook your orzo until tender but firm to the bite.  (It should be about 8 minutes, but refer to your package directions.)  Drain well.

While the pasta is cooking, chop your parsley, artichoke hearts, and almonds.

Over a small bowl, thoroughly zest your lemons.  Then cut the lemons in half and squeeze as much juice into the bowl as possible.  (I find it helpful to use a fine mesh strainer to catch the seeds.)

Put your artichokes, almonds, and parsley in a large medium/large bowl.  Add the lemon zest and juice, along with the olive oil and salt, and give it a good toss.

Add your orzo and gently mix.

Add a delicious sprinkle of Parmesan to your orzo and enjoy.

Updated March 7, 2014:  I made this last night and for lunch today I added some really yummy flaked tuna and it was SO GOOD!  I know you're going to love this.  Delish.

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