Orzo Salad

Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson, copyright (C) 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Photo: Orzo Salad

TOTAL TIME: 19 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 9 min
YIELD: 6 servings


  • Fine-grained sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups / 9 oz / 255 g whole wheat orzo
  • 5 cups / 11 oz / 310 g raw broccoli cut into small florets and stems
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2/3 cup / 3.5 oz / 100 g pine nuts, toasted (see page 219)
  • 1/3 cup / .5 oz / 15 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup / 2 oz / 60 g creme fraeche (see page 226)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
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Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt generously, add the orzo, and cook according to the package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well again.

In the meantime, cook the broccoli. Bring 3/4 cup / 180 ml water to a boil in a large pot. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for 1 minute, just long enough to take off the raw edge. Quickly drain the broccoli in a strainer and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well and set aside.

To make the pesto, combine 2 cups / 7 oz / 200 g of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, most of the pine nuts, the Parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and creme fraeche and pulse until smooth.

Just before serving, toss the orzo and remaining cooked broccoli florets with about two-thirds of the broccoli pesto and the lemon zest. Thin with a bit of warm water if you like, then taste and adjust if needed. You might want to add a bit more salt, or an added drizzle of lemon juice, or more pesto. Gently fold in the avocado. Turn out into a bowl or onto a platter and top with the remaining pine nuts.

Photograph by Heidi Swanson (C) 2011
Recipe courtesy of Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson. Read more about this cookbook on Devour.



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