Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grains & Fruit Summer Salad

This salad is a bit unusual, but I couldn't resist trying it since it called for cantaloupe and yellow cherry tomatoes, both of which I had on hand, as well as plenty of basil.  I substituted red onion for the green onions.  I skipped the blueberries since fresh ones are no longer in season in our area.  The zucchini works nicely raw as long as it is cut into very, very thin slices or ribbons.

Source:  Better Homes & Gardens magazine, June 2011

1 c. lightly packed fresh basil
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
2 c. cooked grains (quinoa, wild rice, and/or brown rice)
1/2 c. sliced green onions
4 c. mixed salad greens (torn Bibb lettuce and/or spring mix)
2 c. blueberries
1 c. cantaloupe cubes
1 c. yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise in narrow ribbons
1/2 c. walnut pieces, toasted
4 oz. smoked salmon, flaked (optional)
1/3 c. snipped or shredded fresh herbs (dill, basil and/or mint)

For basil dressing, in a blender or small food processor combine the 1 c. basil, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cover and blend or process until nearly smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed; set aside.

In a medium bowl stir together cooked grains and green onions.  Stir in about 2 T. of the basil dressing to coat.

For the salad, line a large bowl with greens.  Top greens with grains mixture, blueberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, zucchini, walnuts, and salmon.  Drizzle with half the remaining basil dressing; toss gently.  Sprinkle with fresh herbs.  Pass remaining dressing. 

Makes 8 side-dish or 4 main-dish servings.

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