Mediterranean Grain Salad + A Fun Picnic Tip

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My neighborhood is the best!  We gather at different times throughout the year – over the Christmas Holidays,  Halloween, and when it is nicer weather we close down the street, bring out the grills and let the kids take over with bikes, scooters, skateboards and basketball hoops. So nice to catch up with neighbors you see occasionally on brief walks, and to meet new neighbors who moved in over the past year.

Recently we gathered for a Memorial Day picnic. Each side of the street is responsible for an appetizer or a dessert plus food for your family and as happens every year. something to share with your friends at the table. This year I made a grain salad with Greek flavors that was delicious!

This works perfect as a side, but just as well leftover for lunch!

8 oz. grains (I used a mix of Israeli couscous, orzo and quinoa) cooked to package directions and cooled

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup oven roasted tomatoes, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives

1/4 cup of your favorite Italian dressing (I made a dressing with olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, garlic, salt and pepper)

salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat. Serve chilled or at room temp.

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A Picnic Tip! This is perfect for grilled burgers or hot dogs – I put different condiments in a muffin tin. Pickles, mustard, bbq sauce, sriracha, pickled onions, ketchup, you get the picture. You’ll be surprised how fast those 12 slots fill up!

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