Posts Tagged ‘Side Dish’

Caprese Pasta Salad

Monday, August 4th, 2014

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Caprese Pasta Salad #recipe via MomAdvice.com
Some evening meals require simplicity. They are the evenings when I’ve stood in my kitchen, sans air conditioning, feeling the heat condense on my skin as I look in the cupboards and attempted to choose a heat-less meal twice already that day.

They are evenings when the day has been one obstacle to climb after another. It’s when each child has separately skinned their knee on the driveway in four isolated incidents, each involving band-aids. It’s for days when even the excitement of a long-awaited package arrival ends in disappointment as it is opened to reveal a wrong item and a note indicating an “upgrade.”

This meal isn’t flashy. It’s honest and good. It’s your basic caprese salad, the one with the thick slices of summer tomatoes and too white mozzarella, full leaves of sweet basil, and a healthy drizzle of olive oil and balsamic – a summer essential. It’s that salad with a few extras. Pasta and green onions are invited, and if it’s a meal on its own, add a bit of protein in the way of beans or leftover chicken, shredded and tossed directly into the mix. It’s served in one bowl with one spoon, and it can be eaten on the patio or on a picnic blanket with slices of watermelon and a jug of iced tea. It can be tucked into a thermos and carried along to school or camp or off to the beach.

Caprese Pasta Salad #recipe via MomAdvice.com
In my repertoire of summer meals, I tend to rely on salads more than anything. This year’s has been an ode to simple pasta salads and a leafy salad with a hearty helping of quinoa dumped in for good measure. They’re simple, but they’re pulled together enough to be carried to a neighborhood barbecue or a family gathering where they’ll disappear on the buffet table in short order. You won’t regret doubling the recipe here.

Tomorrow, when you climb out of bed and feel the breeze coming through the open window, the world will feel new. And there will be leftover salad in the refrigerator for lunch.

Caprese Pasta Salad #recipe via MomAdvice.com

Caprese Pasta Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta Salad
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces small pasta (in shape of your choice)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh basil (packed tightly)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella pearls
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Add-ins: shredded chicken, chickpeas, white beans, grilled peaches
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the box directions with the kosher salt in the water. Drain, rinse with cold water, place it in a large bowl, and chill.
  2. Make a chiffonade of basil by stacking the basil leaves on top of one another, rolling tightly, and slicing very thin strips.
  3. Once the pasta is chilled, add the grape tomato halves, the mozzarella pearls, green onions, and the basil to the bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, Dijon, and the sea salt. Whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss to coat evenly. Stir in any additional add-ins to make this a meal on its own or serve as is.

 

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Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo

Monday, February 20th, 2012


Side dishes can get pretty boring around our house so I am always on the lookout for a fun new spin on a simple side dish. Orzo pasta tends to be one of our favorite go-to side dish pastas and I love to find easy ways to liven up our traditional side dish fare. This Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo definitely illustrates how the simplest of ingredients can pack just as much of a punch as a more complex dish.

If you haven’t tried orzo pasta, it really is one of my favorite short pastas that is an ingredient in some of my favorite dishes. It stands well alone in Spinach & Tomato Orzo Pasta Salad, offers a delicious accompaniment to my favorite saucy Slow Cooker Pot Roast Italiano, and is a fantastic accompaniment as a Cheesy Orzo with Parmesan Sage Pork Chops for one of my favorite Italian weekend dishes.

This Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo though is sweetly simple with few ingredients and loads of flavor. The sun-dried tomatoes add chewy sweet flavor, the basil and lemon zest add a bright freshness, and the Parmesan cheese adds creaminess to this dish.

Definitely add this fun new dish to your tired side dish rotation and I promise you won’t be disappointed with this easy and simple side.



Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Orzo
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Simple ingredients yield a tasty side dish that will spice up your usual side dish routines.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ⅓ cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon (zest & juice)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
  2. Add orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Place basil leaves and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor.
  5. Pulse 4 or 5 times until blended.
  6. In a large bowl, toss together the orzo, basil-tomato mixture, olive oil, the zest of one lemon, the juice of one lemon, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  7. Serve warm or chilled.

I am participating in Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale.

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Mexican Rice

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Mexican Rice

1 cup uncooked rice (not instant rice)
2 tablespoons oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium white onion, chopped (omitted because of personal taste)
2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I omitted this ingredient because I didn’t have any tomatoes)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth or beef broth (we chose chicken broth)
1 tablespoon chili powder (you can reduce this- I added 1 teaspoon)
3/4 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Add the rice and stir over medium-high heat until rice is golden brown. Add the garlic and chopped onion, and sauté until the onion just begins to brown. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, chili powder and salt, lower heat and cover. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Lemony Rice Pilaf

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Lemony Rice Pilaf (Courtesy of Recipezaar)

1 teaspoon vegetable oil, preferably canola oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock makes this vegetarian/vegan)
1 grated lemon, rind of
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
fresh ground pepper

In a heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in rice, then stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover; let simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, and parsley; taste and add pepper if you wish. Note: This reheats very well so you can make a double batch for another night, if you like!