Jon Sprague (left) and Chuck Cole
Jon Sprague (left) and Chuck Cole

Appetite For Instruction: Orzo Fresca Salad

Demonstrated by Jon Sprague of Corner Market

Tucked into a 90-year-old storefront on lower Greenville Avenue, Corner Market is like a little bit of Europe right here in Big D. Chuck Cole opened this restaurant-slash-flower shop two and a half years ago, aiming to recreate the feeling of neighborhood cafés he'd visited on various travels.

Corner Market sells simple food, coffee, gifts and fresh flowers in a comfortable atmosphere. Most every afternoon, the patio is packed with people enjoying Chef Jon Sprague's creations at a cozy table, watching the world go by.

It's just like Paris...except for the Chevron station across the street.

Chef Sprague's Orzo Fresca Salad is a favorite this time of year. Cole calls it a "fresh taste explosion" and its light, colorful combination of ingredients is perfect for spring. In other words, this ain't your Mama's artery-cloggin' macaroni salad. Served on its own or topped with grilled chicken, steak or shrimp, you'll finish feeling full, but fit.

Step 1: Slice one pint of grape tomatoes in half and combine with two tbsp. fresh basil chiffonade.

Step 2: What? You've never chiffonade-ed before? It's easy--just roll up a stack of basil leaves like a cigar (watch Chef Sprague in the pictures)...

...and then slice the roll into thin ribbons.

Now don't you feel professional?

Step 3: Add 1 lb. orzo pasta (or other small pasta such as ditalini, orecchiette or rotini) cooked to al dente according to box directions and rinsed under cool water.

Step 4: Add one cup sliced black olives and crumble in about ¼ cup (or more) of feta cheese.

Step 5: Drizzle in enough olive oil to coat (don't go overboard) and season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Toss to combine and it's ready to serve. "Look , ma--no mayo!"


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