Notes: Serve this warm salad as a main dish for a light lunch or as a dinner companion to grilled steak, chicken, or fish. For a casual appetizer, scoop spoonfuls of the salad into large leaves of fresh sweet basil.
1 1/2 cups dried orzo pasta
1 1/4 pounds firm-ripe tomatoes, at room temperature
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
About 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
How to Make It
In a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, bring 1 1/2 to 2 quarts water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until barely tender to bite, 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse and core tomatoes; chop and place in a large bowl. Add basil, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar; mix gently.
Drain pasta well and add to tomato mixture. Mix, adding parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.