I love simple and versatile side dishes. I am the type of person that struggles to think of new and different side dishes to go with my proteins. I “phone it in” often with a bagged salad, steamed veggies, or even a flavored rice. However, I like to have new and different sides because they can be a perfect compliment to my main entree. For me, I find that that keeping simple is key. Many times when I add too many steps I end of forgoing the plan for something pre-made. There is nothing wrong with that, but I love getting creative with my flavors and I know it is a better option for my family.
This side dish was created to compliment a Greek grilled chicken recipe I will be sharing next week. I wanted to create something that, A) wasn’t rice and B) cooked quickly. I combines flavors from sweet cherry tomatoes, tangy feta, and savory Greek seasoning with orzo to create this simple side dish that is bursting with flavor. Perfect with a protein fresh and sizzling from the grill.
My kiddos love feta cheese and tomatoes. I knew this would be a big hit with them, and was pleased when my oldest requested it in his lunch the following day. I have had success introducing the boys to different flavors, like feta cheese, when I use a few comfortable ingredients. For them, comfortable ingredients in this dish would have been the orzo pasta because they eat pasta often, and know what to expect flavor-wise. When I serve it with something different I find they are more open to trying the dish because there is a familiarity for them. That being said it never works 100% of the time, but something I try to utilize when using an ingredient they might not have developed a comfort with yet.
Today is an exciting day at my house. Why? My new counter tops are going to be installed tonight! I currently have a big hole where my sink normally sits, and I am so pumped for this upgrade. We purchased the house with wood laminate counter tops, and we are replacing with a clam shell corian with some soft flecking. We are also extending our counter out about 14-inches creating a giant work space, and a breakfast bar. Slowly but surely we are checking projects off our list. All we have left, for now, is the shower in the main upstairs bathroom at the end of the month, and our new cabinets to be refaced/replaced in September.
Greek Orzo with Feta and Tomatoes
- 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chickem broth
- 1/2 cup feta, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp Greek seasoning
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- In a medium pot, stir orzo and chicken broth together.
- Cook over medium-high heat, and bring to a simmer. The orzo will slowly soak in the broth. Allow orzo to simmer for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until broth is absorbed.
- Remove from heat and gently stir in feta, tomatoes, and Greek seasoning.
- Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm or chill to serve as a cold pasta salad.
Vegetable broth can be substituted for chicken broth.