Saturday, August 29, 2009

Food For Friday: Basil Parmesan Orzo

Food For Friday is back! We've been cooking simple for most of the summer since we've been in transition, staying with friends, and then getting settled in our new home. Now that we are back into more of a routine and I'm back in the kitchen, I'm looking forward to sharing more recipes every Friday.

This is a favorite dish in our house! It is quick, flavorful, and healthy. If you are not familiar with orzo, it is a pasta that looks more like rice. Cooked in broth, it absorbs the flavor of the liquid and makes a delicious and tender pasta side.

1 tbls butter
1 cup orzo
1 1/4 cups fat free low sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cups grated fresh parmesan
2 tbls chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo & cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Stir in broth & water, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, and orzo is done (about 15 minutes.)
Stir in parmesan cheese, basil, salt & pepper.

I saute or grill boneless chicken breast to serve with the orzo. You can serve the chicken breast alongside the orzo for a more formal presentation, or cut the chicken into pieces and stir it into the orzo before serving. If you cut the chicken into small pieces before sauteing, it will speed up the cooking time if you need an extra quick dinner! I like to serve the chicken and orzo with steamed broccoli.

I love snipping some fresh basil from our garden for this dish. I highly recommend using fresh basil for added flavor, but if you don't have any on hand, substituting dried basil works just fine. If you use dried basil, reduce the amount of basil from what the recipe calls for! Dried basil has a much stronger flavor than fresh. Season to taste, but start with just a few shakes of dried basil, then taste, adding more to your liking.

(Orzo recipe originally from Cooking Light.)


Sachiko said...

This recipe looks sooo good and I am all over the "quick and easy" cooking. Thank you for sharing. Your blog is very cute!

Shannon said...

Yum! That looks delicious!

Loved seeing the sneak peak of your house. :)