My friend Wendy created this salad. That in itself blows my mind. I honestly have never created anything. I always follow a recipe exactly so that if it doesn’t turn out it’s not my fault, it’s the recipe. Wendy had something similar to this at J. Alexanders. She loved it so much that every time she went there she would order this and try to figure out what was in it. Over time she came up with this. This salad is refreshing and vibrant…just like Wendy. There is something about this salad that you just can’t stop eating it and I am not a huge rice or pasta fan. This picture does not do it justice. This is a regular dish at our get togethers out here in Florida. Perfect for a Labor Day BBQ!
1 (5 oz.) pkg. long grain and wild rice with seasonings
1 (3 oz.) pkg. slivered almonds
½ large red pepper, diced finely
½ large yellow pepper, diced finely
½ purple onion, diced finely
½ cup craisins
¼ cup capers (drained)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the 2 Tablespoons salt and the orzo and cook until tender, 5-8 minutes. Drain the orzo and immediately toss it with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover and cool completely in the refrigerator.
Prepare the long grain and wild rice according to package directions. Let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 Tablespoons of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Add the almonds, peppers, onion, craisins, capers, basil, parsley, rice and orzo. Toss to mix well. Refrigerate to let the flavors blend. I like this better the next day.
To serve, place in a serving bowl or divide among individual plates and garnish with the lemon slices.
Serve at room temperature (or cold is good too). Serves 6-8