1 cup tightly packed fresh basil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces orzo pasta
1/2 pound ripe cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Freshly ground coarse black pepper to taste
Fresh chopped basil to taste
In a food processor, combine the packed basil, garlic, raw pine nuts and oil and puree until a uniform sauce results. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the grated cheese. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the orzo until tender. Drain well, rinse, drain again and place in a large bowl. Toss with a couple of tablespoons of the reserved pesto dressing, or more to taste.
Note: Reserve any leftover pesto for another use.
To serve, add the tomatoes and toasted pine nuts to the salad, toss with more pesto dressing and black pepper to taste, and scatter with fresh basil.
Recipe makes 8 side-dish servings.
Did You Know?
While there are numerous types of the basil plant, we tend to use sweet basil and bush basil for cooking because of its palatable taste. While most of us are familiar with basil as a culinary herb, the applications of basil in natural health are not as well known.
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