Orzo salad with kale pesto

19 July 2011 § 16 Comments

With the temperature over 90° outside it is far too hot to have the oven on for kale chips. Eating it raw in this salad will give you your dose of daily greens. This salad is vegan but don’t let that put you off – should you desire add a handful of grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese.

Recipe – serves 4


  • 8oz orzo
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups chopped kale (remove the woody stems)
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup halved olives (remove the stones)
  • Salt and pepper

Bring a pan of water to boiling, add a generous pinch of salt and add the orzo. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, drain when tender and let it cool.

Add the kale and basil to a pan of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Then submerge in ice water for a few seconds, then drain. Dry in some paper towel. This will preserve the bright green color so your salad does not turn a muddy green color after a few hours.

In a food processor, pulse the nuts, garlic, basil and kale until you have a fine mince, adding some olive oil and lemon juice as you go. You might have to do in 2 batches. When you have a green, thick smooth paste. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Should you wish to add parmigiano stir it in now.

Add the chopped olives and tomatoes and serve.

King Marv and I loved this, but The Ladies™ were not keen. However my friend’s two-year old son kept begging for more.


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