Mary Beth Johnson is a wife and mum to four schooners, as she's dubbed her children. On a normal afternoon, you would find her in moccasins, skinny jeans and a comfortable tee, camera in hand. Recently moving to the suburbs of Atlanta, Mary Beth spends her days homeschooling, sneaking away to the bookstore, trying to act the part of a southerner, and sifting through recipes in The Vegetarian Times. Food is her love language.
When the weather begins to turn I always look for cold dishes that I can make ahead and keep well in the fridge for lunches and the occasional snack. My friend brought a huge batch of this orzo and wild rice "salad" (if you can call it that) to a party and with the sweet and tangy dressing I promptly asked for the recipe and tried it when I got home. The main flavor comes from the sweet White Balsamic Vinegar, so do make sure you track it down in the oil/vinegar section of your local market. The remaining ingredients are forgiving, so the things I didn't have on hand I wiggled my way around and it turned out wonderfully. If someone finds currants in a grocery store, do let me know!
This is the type of dish that would be perfect for make-ahead barbecues or potlucks, a virtue I find imperative with little ones.
Bonus: it tastes just like summer!
//ORZO AND WILD RICE
Ingredients: 2 cups cooked orzo (found in the pasta section)
1 cup cooked wild rice
3 tablespoons diced red onions
3 tablespoons currants
2 tablespoons corn niblets
3 tablespoons diced yellow pepper
3 tablespoons diced red pepper
3 tablespoons diced green pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 cup sweet white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
Directions: Cook orzo and wild rice per package directions; shock in cold water and refrigerate. Prepare dressing. Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl (including dressing) and toss well. Serve very cold. Orzo Dressing: Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl, except the oil. Stir until well blended. While vigorously stirring the mixture, slowly add the oils. Refrigerate.