orzo with arugula-hazelnut pesto & roasted carrots

the plan was to make a lemony pesto with the fresh basil from the market, but when i grabbed it from the refrigerator, it was wilted and almost frozen (bad fridge!)-no pesto, then? but i was really craving it… surprisingly the arugula in the fridge was still looking nice and fresh-it was going to be an arugula pesto instead! as i reached for the usual walnuts (i don’t use pine nuts very often because the good italian ones are hard to come by) i had a thought-why not try raw hazelnuts instead? it was an a-ha moment- to my surprise and delight, the resulting pesto was fabulous: nutty, zesty, and super fresh-an unexpectedly tasty variation to the our all time favorite lemony basil-walnut version.
{delicious} arugula hazelnut pesto:


  • 2 cups fresh organic arugula
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts (toasted should be good too)
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3-4 tbs good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground pepper or red pepper flakes

to make pesto: place nuts and garlic in a food processor with a steel blade, process for 30-40 seconds, then add arugula, lemon juice and zest, sea salt, and pepper. while processor is running, pour olive oil in through the feed tube. when pesto is finely pureed, add parmesan cheese and process for a minute. to store in refrigerator or freezer, cover with a thin film of olive oil.

for orzo with pesto, roasted rainbow carrots, & squash 
(4-6 servings)
carrots & squash ready for roasting in the oven
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup whole wheat orzo (#65)-cooked per instructions
  • 6-7 organic rainbow (or regular) carrots, cut in half, then quarters
  • 2 yellow round squash, sliced to about the same size & thickness as carrots
  • 1/2 large yellow heirloom tomato, cubed
  • 3-4 tbs arugula-hazelnut pesto
  • extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, cracked pepper for roasting

1. roast the carrots and squash with a touch of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper on a sheet pan in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. while the vegetables are roasting, cook and drain the orzo. add the hot orzo to a bowl with a tablespoon or two of pesto and the chopped tomatoes, mix well.

2. add the warm roasted vegetables and more pesto, and combine. you are ready to serve!

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One thought on “orzo with arugula-hazelnut pesto & roasted carrots

  1. Pingback: did you say veg·e·tar·i·an? a simple {green} dinner for a gathering of friends: curried vegetable rice & fire roasted grilled eggplant salad | Cooking Minette

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