By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Summer grains great for any season
3 dry ingredients - photo by Shannon Smurthwaite
Last June, my husband and I dined with close friends on a popular beach in Southern California. The fish house had a menu filled with every type of seafood imaginable, which made making a selection difficult.

After choosing my main course, I was faced with a list of a plethora of side dishes to enhance my meal. My eyes fell on the words "summer grains," and the dish did not disappoint.

As I relished every bite, my little brain was attempting to calculate how I might recreate this perfect blend after returning home to my Idaho kitchen. This recipe is a happy marriage of quinoa, orzo pasta and wild rice. It requires one large saucepan with a lid or a medium-sized stockpot.

This dish features easy prep work and is great in any season, and a home chef can impress his or her family and friends with its mild nutty taste. Served as a side dish with meat, fish or poultry, I recommend it with a platter of grilled vegetables and perhaps a garnish of shaved parmesan or romano cheese.

Summer grains is a fun change-up from the predictable. Make sure to rinse your quinoa before adding it to the sauce pan. It's a simple step that requires a small sieve or fine mesh colander. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!



Servings: 6-8

2 cans (14 ounces each) or 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup wild rice

cup whole grain quinoa, rinsed well

cup orzo pasta

pepper to taste

In a medium-sized stockpot or large saucepan, heat broth, butter and wild rice on medium to medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes.

Bring heat up to boiling point and add quinoa, orzo pasta and pepper. Stir to blend. Boil for 5 minutes, making sure it does not boil over. Reduce heat to simmer, stir well once more and add lid. Cook for 20 minutes at lowest heat or until all liquid has been absorbed.