Friday, October 5, 2012

Cheap and Easy Weeknight Dinner Series: Orzo Salad with Artichoke Pesto and Grilled Corn

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to share this recipe. As you may have noticed, I've been posting three times a week. I've had plenty to say lately, and probably enough to fill posts Monday through Friday, but school is already getting hectic and I know it will only get worse. I'm trying to pace my posts (say that five times fast!) so that when I don't have time to try new recipes or make cute projects, I won't leave my blog hanging high and dry like I did last spring. The trade off is recipes like this one, which I really enjoyed, have been sitting in the on-deck circle for weeks. (Since the Giants are in the playoffs, I figured some baseball metaphors are appropriate). Forgive me.

Anyway, this recipe was super delicious and with the assistance of a food processor, not too difficult. The artichoke pesto was amazing and would be great in any number of dishes. The recipe makes a TON. That's really not much of an exaggeration. There were so many leftovers, I was eating this stuff for almost a week. It's a great summer dish because it's super tasty warm or cold, so for hot nights it's not too heavy. Definitely give it a try.

Orzo with Artichoke Pesto, Grilled Corn, and Tomatoes
recipe from here

Kosher salt
1 pound orzo pasta
2 ears corn, shucked and silks removed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
freshly ground black pepper to taste

12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (1 frozen container- I also added 1 thawed container whole into the orzo for great texture)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted (optional)
1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, smashed
Zest of 1 large lemon
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

So I have to apologize in advance. The evening I made this dish, I was also making dessert and the main course, as well as socializing and setting the table for my mom's birthday dinner. Needless to say, I was a bit preoccupied. Hence the total lack of acceptable pictures. I'm sorry. I did get the last two steps, which is at least something.

To start, you want to add one container of artichoke hearts, olive oil, walnuts if you are using them, oregano, parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper to the food processor. Mix until smooth.

Cook orzo. While it's cooking, grill your corn on a grill or a grill plate on the stove. You want the edges to be slightly charred. It add's a great flavor.

Combine the cooked orzo and pesto. Mix until all orzo is covered. Add the corn, second package of artichoke hearts, and the tomatoes and mix again.

Add the Parmesan and any additional pepper and stir again. Enjoy hot, room temperature or cold.


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