Lemony orzo with artichoke pesto, corn and grape tomatoes
Sorry for missing this weekend’s post. Since we had an unusually hot day, our friends, my husband and I ended up driving up to Newburyport to spend the day by the pool – definitely the perfect activity on a 95* day! Of course on my way to the party, I decided to stop by Trader Joe’s to pick up a few ingredients for a simple lunch for all. This dish ended up being a HUGE hit so I thought I’d share it right away given that July 4th is coming up and you may find yourselves doing a bit of lounging by the pool as well (or spending time with my friends and family at a cookout). Bring this lemony orzo with artichoke pesto, corn and grape tomatoes to the party and you may just make a few new friends!
It all starts with making a flavorful artichoke “pesto” – you blend some artichokes, fresh parsley, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice and zest and olive oil and try not to eat it all before the orzo (rice shaped pasta) is cooked through. Combine with some roasted corn kernels (Trader Joe’s came to the rescue here again with their frozen pre-roasted kernels – easy!), halved grape tomatoes and a healthy helping of grated parmesan. This recipe was based on Giada’s version, but of course I used whole wheat orzo (try it, it tastes just like the white orzo but provides you with a serving of whole grains!), cut down on the herbs (to let the artichokes shine), olive oil (it’s healthy but should still be used in moderation) and parmesan cheese. I also upped the lemon juice because I really wanted that lemony kick. Quickly adjust the seasonings for salt and pepper and you have a winning dish that comes together in about 10 minutes. Done and done!
What’s your favorite dish to bring to a cookout or an outdoor party?