Sunflower Pasta Salad

Sunflower Pasta Salad

2 boneless chicken breasts, skinned

1/2 cup bottled teriyaki marinade

1 clove garlic, minced

8 ounces fresh pasta (angel hair or a spinach variety would work well)

1 8-ounce bottle Italian dressing

1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

2 cups fresh-cooked corn kernels (optional)

1 cup green onion, chopped

Petals from 2 sunflowers

6 shredded basil leaves

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with the marinade and garlic. Let it stand, turning once or twice, for 20 to 30 minutes. Turn the oven to broil or heat an outdoor grill. Drain the chicken breasts. Place them in a baking dish or on the grill and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven or grill and let cool. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch strips and set aside.

In a large pan filled with lightly salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain well. Rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with dressing, sunflower seeds, corn kernels, and green onion. Set aside. In a steamer set atop boiling water, steam petals for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. To assemble salad, mound pasta on serving platter. Top artfully with steamed petals and strips of chicken. Chill for 1 hour. Sprinkle with basil before serving. Serves 4.

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