Parmesan Basil Orzo
I’m all about warm, comforting side dishes this time of year! Especially when they’re full of creamy cheese and flavorful, fresh herbs! Big thanks to Kitchen PLAY and AeroGarden for sponsoring this post!
This side dish is perfect when paired with grilled chicken and a side salad or some steamed broccoli. It’s also kid friendly, which is always a bonus in this house. My daughter has a death glare that she is not afraid to use when presented with offensive food. I do my best to avoid the death glare.
Anyway! You might have seen me over on Instagram or Facebook sharing photos of my basil! Home grown basil is a big deal to me, because I’m so not a gardener. I mean, I try. Every Spring I get this crazy gleam in my eye and start digging holes in the backyard, buying fancy dirt, decking myself out in the most fashionable of gardening gloves, and then my husband starts dropping divorce attorney names all over the place. He’s not being mean, it’s just his way of reminding me that I love the idea of a garden, but I totally suck at the follow through. Sure, I’ll usually get the plants I spend all of our money on in the ground (though now always), but that’s about the extent of it. I don’t water them. I sure as heck don’t weed them. And, if a plant or two happens to survive my neglect and grow something edible, I don’t trust it enough to eat it.
Obviously, the AeroGarden ULTRA was made for me. It’s indoors, which means that I don’t have to put on real clothes to do my gardening. Also, it more or less takes complete care of itself, so I don’t even have to think about it. It beeps at me when it needs water or nutrients added. It is programmed to turn the lights on at specific times of the day, so that I don’t have to think about it. Bonus points: it has a pleasant little waterfall tinkling sound when the pump is running.
You can grow more than just herbs in this high-tech, high output indoor garden, too! Lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, or flowers can all be grown right in your house with no fuss. There are more than 70 varieties of pre-seeded pods or create your own.
If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at hydroponics, this is a fun way to get started! The AeroGarden ULTRA uses NASA-proven technologies to grow plants up to 10 times faster than plants grown in soil.
It’s been amazing to watch my basil grow. It started out as a seed and within a few days you could see the plants sprouting. After a couple of weeks of the garden in germination mode, things were moving along quite nicely. As soon as the garden switched over to high growth mode, I was blown away by how fast things took off! My little baby plants were ready for harvesting just 23 days after starting from seed.
I’m super excited to try the tomato plants and peppers, too. If I can get homegrown tomatoes in the middle of winter, my life will be complete, you guys.
Check out more recipes using basil from the AeroGarden over on Kitchen PLAY!
AeroGrow will be running its ‘12 Days of Deals’ for the holidays with discounts and special bundles for the season. Plus, get up to 20% on everything storewide when using promo code ‘Holiday20’ in the shopping cart at checkout.
Parmesan Basil Orzo
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup orzo
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped basil
salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the orzo and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted. Add the chicken broth to the pan and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed. Stir in the Parmesan, basil, and salt and pepper. Continue stirring until the Parmesan has melted.
This post was sponsored by Kitchen PLAY and AeroGarden. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.