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Sunday recipe: savory salads provide light fare for warmer weather

Some occasions call for a light dish, and such occasions tend be more common in warm weather. Gone are the days of heavy, stick-to-your-ribs meals, and in their places are fresh, light and easy meals.

Salad is more than just lettuce and other greens, and that’s notable in this recipe for “Salmon, Asparagus and Orzo Salad With Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette,” courtesy of Cooking Light Dinner’s Ready (Oxmoor House) by the Cooking Light Kitchens.

Salmon, Asparagus and Orzo Salad With Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

6 servings

6 cups water
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
1 cup uncooked orzo
1 (11⁄4-pound) skinless salmon fillet
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
⅓ cup Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add asparagus; cook 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus from water with tongs or a slotted spoon, reserving water in a pan. Plunge asparagus into ice water; drain the ice water and set asparagus aside.
  3. Return reserved water to a boil. Add orzo, and cook according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  4. While orzo cooks, sprinkle fillet evenly with salt and pepper. Place fish on a foil-lined broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 5 minutes, or until desired degree of doneness. Using 2 forks, break fish into large chunks. Combine fish, orzo, asparagus, onion, and Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette in a large bowl; toss gently to coat.
  5. Lemon-Dill Vinaigrette
    Yields ⅓ cup

    ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.