Saturday, June 30, 2012

Orzo with Artichoke Pesto and Grilled Corn

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound orzo pasta
  • 2 ears corn, shucked and silks removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (about 3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves, toasted (see Cook's Note)
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (about 28)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Brush the corn with the oil, using a pastry brush. Grill, turning frequently, until the corn is tender, about 10 minutes. Allow the corn to cool slightly. Remove the kernels with a large knife and add to the serving bowl.

For the pesto: In a food processor, combine 2 cups artichokes, oil, walnuts, oregano, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Blend, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as needed, until the mixture is thick and smooth.

Chop the remaining 1 cup artichoke hearts into 3/4-inch pieces and add to the serving bowl. Add the pesto, tomatoes and Parmesan. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Cook's Note: To toast the walnuts, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange the walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.

Source: Giada De Laurentis

We served it with grilled chicken marinated in the following: zest and juice of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 garlic clove minced, sea salt and pepper to taste (makes enough for 4 chicken breasts, butterflied).

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