Pesto and Orzo

One of the things I miss the most during this pandemic is going to the grocery store four or five times a week and looking at what is fresh or catches my fancy.

Yesterday I played the home version of this game. I had basil, mint, and rosemary that needed to be picked and used, I had some sourdough starter bubbling away, I had some spelt orzo from our July Ben to Table box, and I had a zucchini from our CSA. I don’t love zucchini but Maggie drew the line at me making another zucchini bread.

So I made a rosemary foccacia with the rosemary and sourdough and I made a basil pesto and used it with the orzo, zucchini and mint.

I went old-school with the pesto and pounded about two cups of basil into a paste in a mortar and pestle. I added some pine nuts, olive oil, and pecorino romano cheese and that was the pesto.


Meanwhile, I infused some olive oil with chopped rosemary while mixing together 200 g of the sourdough starter with 300 g all purpose flour and 250 g of water. I added a tablespoon of salt and a teaspoon of instant yeast. It’s a very wet almost batter. I let it rise in a well oiled bowl for two hours.

When the dough had doubled I poured it into a well oiled baking dish and poured the rosemary olive oil on top and dimpled the dough and topped it with flaky salt and popped it into a 460 degree (f) oven for a half hour.

While that was cooking I boiled the orzo in salt water, diced the zucchini in 1/4 inch dice and sauteed it with garlic in olive oil until it was translucent. I tossed it with the mint, added the orzo and pesto and actually enjoyed the zucchini dish with the fresh baked foccacia on the side.


It was a perfect summer dish. Feel free to make substitutions based on what you have in your pantry.