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It Must be Summer…

I know it’s summer – or at least very close to it – when I make the first batch of Orzo and Wild Rice Salad.  This salad is a staple of my summer dining for a couple of reasons.  First, it’s tasty! It’s also easy to customize or vary each time you make it and it’s a great way to use up odds and ends of leftover things.  And, it’s a nice light, healthy alternative. 
Start with equal amounts of cooked orzo and wild rice (sometimes I even vary this and use Forbidden Rice or black beans instead).  Then add some savory things – in this version I used the leftover asparagus and corn from my previous salmon dinner and chopped green onions but use whatever you have on hand.  Next add something a little sweet.  In this version I used dried blueberries (soak in boiling water for 10 minutes or so to plump them up, drain thoroughly, then toss them in) but any dried fruit or even fresh fruit pieces will work. 
Finally, either make or purchase a light dressing.  I really like the line of Paula’s No-Oil dressings.  There are several really flavorful options.  I used the Lemon & Dill on this salad but other favorites include the Tangerine & Mint and the Orange & Basil.  Toss the salad with just enough dressing to moisten it all but it should not be swimming in dressing.  
This salad will easily keep a few days – especially if you use only dried fruit. 

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