orzo salad with pesto

ever since my parents gifted me an immersion blender for my birthday last year, i’ve been obsessed with using it. as in, i find a way to make it a part of my life at least once a day. let everyone rejoice in mushy foods! my favorite thing to make when herbs like parsley start appearing in my yard is pesto. being allergic to dairy, making my own pesto is great because i don’t have to add romano like so many store-bought versions contain. also, since pesto is essentially a five ingredient deal, it is pretty hard to justify spending so much on a mediocre pre-made version of it, when i can make something fresh up in less than two minutes. i’ll share other versions of this later (sundried tomato is another favorite).

this dish was inspired by some delicious-smelling leftovers my mum brought home the other night, but which i couldn’t sample because of the dairy component. all the measurements are approximations, as i rarely measure anything.

for pesto

2 to 3 C parsley (basil or cilantro work equally well here)

1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

3 T walnuts

1/2 t salt

for orzo

2 C orzo, dry

1 eggplant, diced

1/4 C green olives, chopped

lemon juice, salt and pepper, to taste


place all ingredients for pesto into a container, and use an immersion blender (or food processor) to combine. pulse until there are no large chunks of walnut or stem in the mix. adjust oil and salt to your liking.

boil orzo for ten minutes and drain. set aside. spread eggplant on baking sheet and cover with olive oil and salt. bake at 350C until it begins to go soft and the colour becomes less opaque.

add pesto to orzo mixture and stir well. mix in eggplant and olives. season generously with lemon juice. adjust salt and pepper to taste.

being the healthy family that we are, we had this with a side of asparagus wrapped in bacon (the “vegetable” component to the meal).

  1. Leanne said:

    love pesto!! (make my own nut-less version). and bacon! love all of this.

  2. tara said:


    i just made it (but with pecans instead because it’s what i had at hand)!

    will be re-posting!

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