Broccoli Orzo Salad with Avocado and Pine Nuts

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day


1 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo

5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2/3 cup toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 lemon, zested (reserve), and then juiced

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup creme fraiche, crema fresca, or sour cream

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced


Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Set aside.

In the meantime, cook the broccoli: Bring another large pot of water to boil, add a generous pinch of salt, and add the broccoli. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, enough to soften the broccoli a bit. Drain and rinse under cool water, set aside.

Make the pesto: Combine 2 cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, most of the pine nuts (you’ll save some for garnish), the parmesan and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in the food proccessor or blender. Drizzle in the olive oil and creme fraiche and pulse until a smooth paste forms.

Just before serving, toss the orzo, the remaining broccoli florets, the lemon zest and about 2/3 of the sauce. Taste and add salt, more sauce, or lemon juice as you see fit. Gently fold in the avocado and top with the remaining pine nuts.

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