Orzo Pasta Salad with Pistachio Pesto, the perfect springtime promise.

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

We have had rain, rain, and unfortunately more rain! Some neighboring yards can no longer absorb any more water, yet the rain keeps falling. This is our first winter here on the peninsula and from what we have been told, the coldest in many years. Our weekly newspaper had an article about the biggest spike in electricity usage, in over 18 years. So yes, cold and wet. 

Orzo Pasta Salad with Pistachio Pesto.
Orzo Pasta with zucchini in a Pistachio Pesto.
The thing I needed to see was something reminiscent of spring. Something a bit lighter to enjoy for our meals, something with rich flavor, yet something that could be made with limited ingredients. Fortunately, our local co-op carries a nice selection of fresh herbs and vegetables from local farmers. That combined with a very interesting cookbook from the library, and we have a lovely springtime pasta salad to enjoy. 

Orzo Pasta Salad with Pistachio Pesto, springtime fresh!
Orzo Pasta Salad with Zucchini in a Pistachio Pesto. 

Orzo Pasta Salad with Pistachio Pesto
adapted from:  Salmagundi, A celebration of salads from around the world.

1 c orzo pasta

1 bunch parsley - leaves only
1 handful of cilantro - leaves only
1 handful of fresh basil - or use equivalent dried, if unavailable
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 t salt
fresh ground pepper
2/3 c shelled pistachio kernels
3 T red wine vinegar

1/2 (scant) olive oil

1 large or 2 small zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 bunch green onions sliced
1 c green olives - use ripe olives, if available - sliced

3 reserved stems cilantro
1 t sumac

Cook orzo in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well, rinse quickly in cool water, set aside to finish draining while assembling the salad ingredients.

Place herbs along with remaining ingredients through vinegar, into the cup of a food processor. Pulse to combine and chop ingredients. Slowly add oil and continue processing until mixture forms an emulsion. 

Combine reserved pasta, zucchini, green onions, and green olives, toss together with the pesto. 

Top with the reserved cilantro stems, and sprinkle with the sumac. 


Orzo Pasta Salad with Pistachio Pesto, with zucchini, green onions and ripe green olives.
Orzo Pasta Salad with Pistachio Pesto.

Presenting our unique and delicious collection of original recipes in our new book, Salads and Salad Dressings Book III available right here!

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  1. That is an amazing platter of pasta goodness!

    1. Thank you Emily, it also keeps very well. With no mayo it will be perfect for picnics.

  2. Yummmmmmmm. I love pesto. I've never made one with pistachios, but why not?

    1. I have to be honest, I cannot taste the difference, but it was fun to make a pistachio pesto!

  3. I love orzo - Thanks for sharing on the What's for Dinner link up!

    1. Orzo is new for me, I would like to find a whole wheat version.

  4. I love making pesto from different herbs and nuts. This salad looks delicious and perfect to welcome spring. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

  5. That looks delicious! Pistachio pesto sounds good! Thanks for sharing with CC!


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