Pasta Pesto Salad

“This recipe came about when I was trying to use up spare ingredients floating around the apartment. I had some basil in the freezer and my parents had sent me home with a random box of orzo. So this recipe was a perfect fit. I use to not be a fan of pesto, but I like this recipe because it feels light and fresh with a hint of nutty-ness. Great for a summer side dish or along with a half sandwich.” – April Ferre

Pasta Pesto Salad

Course: Salads – Pasta
Cuisine: Italian


  • 8 Ounces Dried Orzo (Rice-Shaped Pasta)
  • 8 Ounces Cherry Tomatoes Quartered
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts Lightly Toasted
  • 1 Bunch Basil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese Grated
  • 3 Tablespoons Half & Half


  • Cook orzo according to directions on the package. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
  • In bowl, combine orzo, tomatoes and toasted pine nuts.
  • To prepare pesto sauce, combine remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until well blended and smooth. Add to pasta and toss until well coated.
  • Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with basil sprigs if desired. Makes 4 side dish servings.

2012 Recipe – April Ferre – From The Book of Salads by Lorna Rhodes, 1988