Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Going Green

Dill Pesto with Orzo Salad
Leftovers and global warming have a lot more in common than you think. I have a very green solution for your environmental woes: pesto sauce.

I don't really know what precipitated this, but lately the *Girl From Scratch household has taken an interest in being "green" and not wasting so much. This applies to food and grocery stuffs along with clothing and resources. It's been interesting to monitor our grocery budget and see the amount of food that gets wasted from being forgotten in the back of the fridge. Not good for the environment or our wallets.

There were a lot of ingredients left over from last week's post Holding Out For A Gyro. In particular some bunches of fresh dill (beginning to wilt) and some cucumbers (beginning to shrivel) were running out of time. The old me would have just chucked it all out in the trash, but the new, improved, waste-conscious, greener me was convinced there was an alternative. When fresh basil starts to wilt a great solution is to throw it in the food-processor with olive oil, garlic, pine-nuts and parmesan for an easy pesto. Surely a dill version would be just as delicious and versatile. Dill Pesto with Orzo Salad sounds kinda hoity-toity (Q: What is orzo anyway? A: It's rice-shaped pasta), but it's far from it. Think of it as a sophisticated pasta salad, perfect with grilled fish and a glass of white wine on a hot summer day.

Dill Pesto with Orzo Salad
Cast of Characters: Dill, garlic, parmesan, walnuts, orzo, olive oil, feta and cucumbers. (FYI: Do not be fooled by that tiny box, it makes A LOT of orzo!)
Put dill bunches in food processor, add olive oil, garlic cloves, parmesan and walnuts. (I have also used pine-nuts and almonds for pesto, whatever nut you have on hand!)
Boil pasta and drain. Place in bowl with diced cucumbers and feta cheese.
Add pesto.
Toss and chill before serving.
I garnished with juicy cherry tomatoes for color and added flavor. (This is totally optional.)

Actual Recipe/Inspiration: Barbette's Dill Pesto

In other green-y news, the *Girl From Scratch household is now composting! This may not seem like a big deal to some, but to us city-dwellers it marks a great opportunity to be greener in a concrete jungle. Our local farmer's market, the Inwood Greenmarket, now has a booth that takes compostable material from local residents. This can make a great impact, as compostable items take up almost 20% of NYC's trash. They encourage you to store items in a bag or yogurt container in the freezer to cut down on odors. Genius. Me and Mr. From Scratch are trying to reduce our waste as best we can and it all starts with a small step. If you are a Manhattanite and want more info, click here Greenmarket Compost Pilot Program. I know it's not the most appetizing subject but does anyone else compost out there? What steps are you excited to share about going a littler "greener?"


  1. I LOVE that the Travi are going GREEN :) I am convicted and will be composting starting this week :) My hubby (since GFS is my marriage life saver) just LOVES pesto, and I love me some orzo, BAM...instant winner!!!

  2. I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe! Quick recipe addendum: I would use roasted garlic instead of raw. As I'm eating this throughout the week, I'm really noticing the 7 cloves of fresh garlic in the pesto. It's extremely tasty but extremely potent!