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’).
The May Gray and June Gloom have mostly burned away; the Fourth of July is almost upon us and summer is in full swing. I don’t know how it happened so fast, but there you go.
Summer brings with it a slew of weekend cookouts loaded up with burgers, dogs, ice cream, potato salad–I could go on–suffice to say, with so many irresistible delicacies of the season, during the week, I like to cook pretty light and healthy to balance things out.
I dip, you dip, we dip… our pita chips in delicious, creamy, garlicky baba ganoush. If you’re looking for an easy dip that sounds exotic, is simple to prepare, and wins you more points for originality than whipping out a container of the ubiquitous hummus, I’ve got your new favorite right here.
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.