Orzo salad with basil-sherry vinaigrette

Orzo salad with basil-sherry vinaigrette

Makes 4 servings

Do as the Italians do and include this dish among an assortment of antipasti. Or you can serve it as a light lunch or as an out-of-the-ordinary accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken.

1 ear sweet corn or 1 cup frozen corn

¾ cup orzo, riso, or rosamarina pasta

2 plum tomatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes

½ cup Basil-Sherry Vinaigrette

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 4 leaves butter lettuce or other soft-leafed lettuce Small sprigs of fresh basil for garnish

Place the ear of corn on a microwaveable dish covered loosely with waxed paper. Microwave on high until hot, about 2 minutes. (If using frozen corn, cook according to package instructions. Drain well.) Set aside to cool.

Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Rinse with cool water; drain again.

When the corn has cooled, cut the kernels off the cob. (It’s best to cut or break the ear in half. On a cutting board, hold the cob upright. Using a sharp knife, slide the blade downwards, letting the kernels fall on the board, rotating the cob a quarter turn at a time until all the kernels are removed.)

In a medium bowl, toss together the pasta, corn, and tomatoes. Add ¼ cup of the vinaigrette and toss again.

Refrigerate the salad and the remaining vinaigrette in separate covered containers for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days. Serve the salad chilled or at room temperature.

Toss the remaining vinaigrette just before serving. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Spoon the salad onto lettuce-lined salad plates and garnish with basil sprigs.