Friday, July 2, 2010

A Quick ‘Between Jobs’ Dinner: Tomato, Asparagus, and Pesto Salad with Chicken

I hate working two jobs. OK, let me correct that before the gods of irony get involved and have a field day: I hate the fact that I need to work two jobs.

Three nights a week I have to run from the office, back to the house, scarf down dinner, and head out to job number two. I just can’t hit the drive-thru and be on my way, like normal people. Why? 1) If I ate fast food three nights a week, I’d be as big as a house; and 2) spending money to eat fast food defeats the purpose of working two jobs (I mean, if I’m going to pay for dinner, then I want to appreciate the food, not the plastic cup full of soda). The solution is to come up with some quick and easy recipes to keep in my back pocket. That’s where this one comes into play.

All these veggies pair nicely with pesto on their own, so I thought I might as well toss them all together. Same goes for the chicken. I seasoned the chicken breasts with just simple salt and pepper, instead of doing anything that would compete with the pesto.

In an effort to add a little body to the sauce (which is really just pesto), I cook the orzo as I would a grain – a 2:1 ratio of liquid to orzo (when it's finished cooking, it looks like a pot of rice). That way I can use all the starchy goodness that comes from the pasta when it cooks to give the sauce a little more heft. Cooking it in chicken stock just imparts that much more flavor. The only thing the recipe lacks is some crusty bread to go with it (which I happened to have on hand).

I know this is short, but that’s all the time I have – it’s a two-job day.

Recipe: Tomato, Asparagus, and Pesto Salad with Chicken


  1. This looks great for a weeknight! I'm always on the run too.

  2. If I try hard, I can usually have this thrown together in about 20 minutes. Most of the time, I unfortunately don't have my act put together that well.