Mediterranean orzo salad

serves 4

This salad features the diminutive rice-shaped pasta called orzo enhanced by lusty Kalamata olives and crunchy toasted pine nuts.
1½ cups orzo

1 large clove garlic

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, drained

and rinsed

1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke

hearts, drained

½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes,

cut into strips

½ cup pitted Kalamata olives

½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

¼ cup minced scallions

Salad greens, for serving

¼ cup toasted pine nuts (page 21)

Cook the orzo in a pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

While the orzo is cooking, mince the garlic in a food processor. Add the vinegar, mustard, marjoram, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Process until well blended. Set the dressing aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked orzo, the chickpeas, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, parsley, and scallions. Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss gently to combine.

To serve, line a shallow bowl or individual plates with salad greens. Spoon the orzo salad onto the greens, and serve topped with the pine nuts.