Grilled Corn and Orzo Salad with Basil

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Corn Orzo Salad

I’ve mentioned this before – I LOVE quick and easy side dishes made with fresh ingredients. It’s corn season here in the Northeast. It’s so sweet right now that sometimes I add it to recipes raw. This time, I grilled the corn, without the husks, so it got slightly charred. It added some nice flavor and depth to the salad.

Pasta salads are great side dishes because they’re pretty easy to throw together, especially this one. When you make it, definitely have the hot sauce handy. You add 1/4 teaspoon to the recipe, then add more as needed. I seasoned mine generously with hot sauce and salt. I do like side dishes with a little kick. Also, make sure your ingredients are fresh – fresh corn (picked the same day is ideal), fresh basil and a real lime (no juice from the bottle). This salad won’t be the same if the ingredients aren’t fresh.


Grilled Corn and Orzo Salad with Basil

Recipe from Fine Cooking

2 medium ears corn, shucked and silks removed
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dried orzo
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, more to taste

Prepare a medium-high (425°F to 450°F) gas or charcoal grill fire. Brush the corn with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

Grill the corn, turning often, until crisp-tender and charred in some spots, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.

When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cobs. Stir the kernels into the orzo, along with the basil, 3 Tbs. of oil, lime juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and hot sauce.

Season to taste with more salt and hot sauce. I season mine generously with both. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 4 servings

One year ago: Quinoa and Avocado Salad with Dried Fruit, Toasted Almonds, and Lemon-Cumin Vinaigrette
Two years ago:  Key Lime Pie Ice Cream
Three years ago: Zucchini and Ricotta Galette

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