When spring comes it means that it's time to start planning for the summer. While we do have groups and retreats who come to enjoy the beauty of Pennsylvania at His Thousand Hills over the winter; our busiest time is during the summer months. This will be the fourth summer that my mom and I have been at HTH. Each year the Lord shows me new things and allows me to grow while working at the camp. I do enjoy it and look forward to the summer/fall months!
One of my favorite delights during summer is all the fresh produce. I do enjoy having a garden, but I've learned that we've gotten so busy during the summer that I have no time to keep up with it! So I usually try to get some fresh fruit and veggies from the store or the Mennonite stand just down the street from us.
Here is a recipe I was able to try for the first time last year. It's quickly become a favorite for my mom and me. It's great for a full meal or just a side dish.
White Bean Orzo and Asparagus Salad
Oil- I use Grapeseed, Coconut or Olive oil
2 cups White Beans- I use 1 can of Cannellini beans
2 Cups cooked Orzo pasta
1 1/2 Cups Asparagus- raw & cut to the size you want
1/2 Red Pepper
1/4 sweet white onion, sliced thin- I've used regular yellow onion and the flavor is really great
1/4 Cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
1/3 Cup Balsamic vinaigrette
Heat oil in a large frying pan. Saute onion and red pepper. Add asparagus and cook until desired tenderness. Rinse beans. Add beans basil, parsley and balsamic vinaigrette to asparagus mixture. Heat through. Add the orzo pasta, heat through and serve.
I sometimes add a few different ingredients to this dish depending on what I have on hand. Mushrooms is a great addition as well as some nuts like almonds.
Sometimes I'll drizzle or substitute this basting oil in place of the regular oil. It is grapeseed and canola oil with garlic and a few other seasonings. It's delicious and adds some flavor. The only downside is that Wegmans is an hour away...so I try to use it sparingly!