On Memorial Day we had a proper barbecue with hot dogs and hamburgers on our tiny charcoal grill. Sam sets it up in our parking space outside, and he tried a new method of heating the coals in a metal can before transferring them to the grill-- it only worked moderately. It cooked the meat through, which is the most important, but we're still looking for the perfect way to heat the briquettes. Despite the time commitment, I do love a real grill. The taste from the charcoals can't be beat.
To go along with our meat, I made a pasta salad. I get tired of the same old pasta salads, and I made this one for the first time for Father's Day a couple years ago. It's fresh, flavorful, and delicious. Each ingredient is flexible-- you can add more or less depending on your tastes-- so definitely take these measurements as approximations. I am a huge fan of the corn because it balances the spicy red onion. (I go for frozen corn whenever I use corn, and in recipes like this, I stick it in a strainer and run hot water over it until it's thawed.) One huge perk of this recipe is that it makes delicious leftovers. (And for one who hates leftovers, that's saying a lot.)
10 oz. orzo pasta, cooked in salter water to al dente
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups corn
1 red onion, small chop
1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chop
4 limes, juiced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Dump all ingredients into serving bowl and mix together. That's it!
The key to this one is the lime juice. I always find I need more than I anticipated. Take a couple tastes and add more of the ingredients you like best.