- Orzo with Artichoke Hearts, Tomatoes, Corn and Oregano Pesto
- This makes a great warm side dish or cold pasta salad. You can use oregano or basil and walnuts or pine nuts.
- Serves 8-10
- salt to taste
- 1 pound orzo pasta
- 2 cups frozen corn, dethawed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces (about 3 cups) of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and reserve marinade
- 1/2 cup reserved marinade or add extra-virgin olive oil to make 1/2 cup
- 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted (see cook's note), or pine nuts
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves or fresh basil
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- zest of 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (about 28)
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
- pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.
Brush the corn with the oil, using a pastry brush. Grill, turning frequently, until the corn is tender, about 10 minutes. Allow the corn to cool slightly. Remove the kernels with a large knife and add to the serving bowl.
For the pesto: In a food processor, combine 2 cups artichokes, oil, half of the walnuts, oregano, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed, until the mixture is thick and smooth.
Chop the remaining 1 cup artichoke hearts into 3/4-inch pieces and add to the serving bowl. Add the pesto, tomatoes, remaining walnuts and Parmesan. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Add salt and pepper to taste and add more lemon juice if needed. Serve.
Cook's Note: To toast the walnuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.