It’s that time of year. Farmer’s markets are overflowing, it’s hot, and you don’t feel like turning on the oven for dinner. Seems like someone’s grilling every weekend, and it never hurts to have a fantastic side dish–that isn’t a dessert–in your back pocket, ready to bring. I’ve been craving this simple, light shrimp and orzo salad all summer long. It’s healthy, lemony, and can be both a great side dish and a main (and a great leftover lunch… just sayin’).
Well, Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, it’s June, and it’s officially summer. To so many of us, that means eating a little bit lighter. Whenever it got really hot when I was growing up—too hot to turn on the oven or the stove, when a hot meal seemed as unappetizing as anything in the world—my mother would throw a whole bunch of marinated and fresh
Brussels sprouts have suffered from an undeserved bad reputation for what seems like an entire generation, but, refreshingly, in the last few years they’ve enjoyed a real resurgence as self-avowed sprouts haters have grown to appreciate the subtly spicy, woodsy flavor of these adorable cabbage-like vegetables. Excellent roasted but just as good raw, shaving sprouts into a fresh chopped slaw like this one was new to me, but I’ve become pretty obsessed with the mix of flavors and textures in this light and incredibly healthy yet completely satisfying salad.
One of my favorite side dishes is potato salad, especially in the summer. Too often potato salad is bland and gloppy with too much mayonnaise and mushy, without enough crunch. This simple, lightened up potato salad is made with tangy Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise. A zesty reimagining of a classic summer side, this potato salad is full of fresh herbs for flavor that’s perfect for adding some unexpected zing to your next cookout.
Rice or potatoes, rice or potatoes. That’s the question that often dogs me during the late afternoon when I’m trying to figure out what to make for dinner, and which starch would better complement it. I happen to be a big fan of wild rice – the chewy texture, the nutty flavor – but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a little. So, one night when I was whipping up a Mediterranean style dinner, I threw together this cool and flavorful wild rice salad. Simple to assemble and easy to prepare ahead of time, it’s filling and delicious on its own, but makes an excellent side dish, too. It’s a perfect accompaniment to lighter summertime cooking.