Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What's Stewing?:: Black Bean Pesto Orzo

Black Bean Pesto Orzo

The What's Stewing? adventure continues this week with a new recipe we've never tried before and really enjoyed. I've been attempting to expand the variety of foods we eat getting my husband to eat healthier veggies of course, but also straying away from traditional boring meals. A different twist on spaghetti night is a tomato-based orzo. While orzo isn't typically a stew or casserole this recently discovered recipe brings this easy-to-make pasta into the world of stew-like dishes by cooking it in a tomato sauce.

I adapted this recipe from the package, which suggested cooking the orzo in diced tomatoes and chicken broth (two items I always have on hand), by adding black beans for protein and topping it with a zesty pesto which really made the dish great!

1 box orzo
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 small can tomato sauce
Diced mushrooms (optional)
1 can black beans
Pesto (see recipe below)

Here's how I made it:
Combine chicken broth, orzo and diced tomatoes (undrained) in soup pot. Cook for the same time the package says for cooking orzo in water. Bake your beans in beer for added flavor and add at end (see my recipe here) or cook them with the orzo if you prefer. That's it! Serve with a dollop of pesto.

1 cup Lemon basil*
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic

Here's how I make it:
Combine ingredients in food processor and grind until ingredients form a paste. I use a good tasting extra virgin olive oil otherwise you can taste it in your pesto more so than cooking with it over heat. *My local market often carries only lemon basil and it adds a little extra zesty flavor but regular basil is great too.
Note:: I make large amounts of this when I have leftover fresh basil from other recipes instead of letting it go to waste. I freeze it in small airtight containers for up to a month so I always have it on hand in a recipe-ready portion. When your stuck for a meal idea it's an easy solution to toss over pasta and even bake on fish. Yum!

More What's Stewing? to come so be sure to follow us and enjoy! Share your creations or twists on our recipes for a chance to be featured on our blog. 

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