Orzo Salad with Spinach Pesto

For the pesto:

  • 4 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan, lightly packed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1/2 pound orzo pasta
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 small shallot, diced small
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Place pesto ingredients other than oil in a food processor and pulse until incorporated. With the motor running, stream 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the spinach until it is saucy. Scrape down the sides and give it a taste. Add more salt or lemon juice to taste.

Cook the orzo in boiling well-salted water until it is al dente, about 8 minutes. Strain and immediately combine with the pesto while the pasta is still warm. Add the feta, olives, shallots, and lemon juice to the pasta and stir gently to combine. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, or lemon juice as needed.

Let the salad cool and then refrigerate for up to a week. The flavors improve by the second day.

From The Kitchn

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