Broccoli Pesto Orzo Salad

Broccoli Pesto Orzo Salad

This nice & easy broccoli pesto orzo salad, is so fresh & light! In truth, we love any recipe with crème fraîche as an ingredient. This is a great take to work lunch salad & also works perfect as a side compliment to grilled salmon, chicken or even few poached eggs.  As busy people, we are always looking for ways to maximize our time and recipes while keeping healthy.  By prepping ahead, you can enjoy this dish over a few meals accomplishing just that. You can also try other variations of this dish by using other grains like farro or barley if you don’t happen to have orzo.  And don’t forget the pine nuts since they add the perfect little crunch!

What you'll need

Salt

  • 1 ½ cups who wheat orzo
  • 5 cups raw broccoli cut into small florets
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup crème fraîche
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted & sliced

Prep + Cook

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and add the orzo. Cook according to the package.  Drain, rinse with cold water.
  2. In the meantime, cook the broccoli.  Bring ¾ cup water to a boil in a large pot.  Add a pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli.  Cover and cook for 1 minute.  Quickly drain the broccoli in a strainer and run under cold water to stop the cooking.  Drain well and set aside.
  3. For the pesto: combine cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, most of the pine nuts, the Parmesan, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice in a food processor.  Drizzle in the olive oil and crème fraîche and pulse until smooth.
  4. Before serving, toss the orzo and remaining cooked broccoli florets with about 2/3s of the broccoli pesto and the lemon zest. Thin with a bit of warm water, if needed, and adjust salt to taste.  You can also adjust by adding more of the pesto or lemon juice depending on taste. 
  5. Gently fold in the avocado and top with remaining pine nuts. Serve & ENJOY!

Serves 4-6

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Author:  Jennifer Kuhar

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