Orzo pesto salad

Total Time
30 min
20 min
10 min
This pesto is made with the orzo cooking liquid in place of oil. For a pretty presentation, you can serve the salad on whole radicchio leaves. You’ll need at least 2 leaves per serving, so you’ll probably want to add a second head of radicchio to your shopping list. The basil-arugula pesto goes well with almost anything, from your favorite pasta on its own to chicken and fish.



4 cup(s)

Uncooked orzo

1½ cup(s)


¾ cup(s), leaves


cup(s), leaves


2 medium clove(s)


1 Tbsp, in pieces

Table salt

1½ tsp

White wine

1 cup(s), dry

Bay leaf

2 leaf/leaves

Uncooked boneless skinless turkey breast

¾ pound(s), cutlets


6 medium, kalamata, pitted and slivered

Uncooked radicchio

pound(s), 1 head, quartered, cored and sliced

Fresh cherry tomato(es)

16 medium, quartered

Grated Parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, coarsely ground


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo, reduce the heat, and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and put the orzo in a large bowl.
  2. To make the pesto, combine the basil, arugula, garlic, walnuts, and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a food processor or blender. Add the reserved cooking liquid and puree. Stir 2 tablespoons of the pesto into the orzo.
  3. Bring the wine and bay leaves to a boil in a medium skillet. Boil 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium and add the turkey. Cover and poach until the turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain, discarding the bay leaves. Chop the turkey and add it to the orzo. Stir in the olives and radicchio. Fold in the remaining pesto and then the cherry tomatoes. Add the Parmesan, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt; toss to combine.