Pic of Pick & Mix Pesto

Pick & Mix Pesto

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Vegetarian mains

Pick & Mix Pesto

Serves 2 25 min
Pick your own favourite veg in this flexible pesto recipe to make the perfect personalised dinner. We’ve included a few crunchy pumpkin seeds here – toasting them increases their fl avour. Try it with other seeds if you like, e.g. sunflower, or use pine nuts. If you don’t have orzo pasta (a very small, rice-shaped pasta) you can use any other pasta you have in your cupboard – try fusilli spirals, or broken up pieces of spaghetti.



  • 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 150g orzo pasta
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto

4 handfuls of your favourite veg, such as:

  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 courgettes, peeled into long ribbons
  • a few broccoli florets, cut very thinly
  • 125g green beans, thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
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Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 15 min
  • Step 1

    Put a large saucepan of well-salted water on to boil.
  • Step 2

    Put the pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan and heat them on a medium heat, stirring often, until they start to darken a little and toast. Transfer them to a plate.
  • Step 3

    Boil the orzo pasta for 7-8 mins, until tender with a little bite. Drain and rinse it in a sieve, under cold water, to cool it and prevent the pasta from sticking together.
  • Step 4

    Mix the orzo in a large bowl with the pesto – adding a little to start with, tasting and adding more as you go will help you get just the right flavour for you.
  • Step 5

    Gently toss the orzo with all the vegetables and arrange it on plates.
  • Step 6

    Serve sprinkled with the pumpkin seeds.

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