Sharing Gardens and Lunch, and Broccoli-Wild Rice Salad

I’ve been gardening with friends weekly or as our schedules allow this summer.  We rotate houses, meet in the cool morning, and break for homemade lunch – not the responsibility of the host, who already has to plan gardening and do the lunch dishes.  There are 3 of us, spanning the generations from ages 25 to 65, and every week we are amazed by what we accomplish in just two hours – and how much fun we have talking,  working together, and sharing plants.  The buckthorn that I had been avoiding for two seasons was vanquished in one morning.  Another week, we made grapevine wreaths to prevent the vines from strangling my tomato plants.

I don’t know what we will be doing in the garden tomorrow, but I do know the menu.  I love colorful main course salads and this is one of my favorite combinations.  We’ll have rosemary rye bread and watermelon on the side.

I’m also bringing one of my favorite plants for their gardens: Opuntia fragilis, the aptly named brittle prickly pear, which would just as soon stick to your hand as stay in the ground.  Its amazing flowers and the novelty of seeing a cactus outside in Minnesota are well worth the occasional thorn.

Ibroccoli wildrice salad

Broccoli-Wild Rice Salad with Orange Garlic Dressing

Combine in a large bowl:
3 c finely chopped broccoli florets/stems
2 c cooked wild rice
1 1/2 c halved red grapes
1 c chopped toasted cashews
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded

Combine in a small bowl and then mix into salad:
2 T orange juice concentrate
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, very finely minced
salt and pepper to taste

If desired, serve over lettuce leaves to eat as a wrap.

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