Strawberry, Orzo and Asparagus Salad with Basil, Mint and Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredients

3 Cups Cooked Orzo
½ cup Sliced Strawberries
1 Pound fresh asparagus, blanched and cut into ½ inch pieces

Basil, Mint and Orange Vinaigrette
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar, or to taste
1 garlic clove, chopped
/2 cup vegetable oil

Directions

Add all vinaigrette ingredients to bowl and whisk - then slowly drizzle in vegetable oil, or combine all ingredients in a blender. Drizzle over orzo, mix well with all ingredients serve at room temperature or, chilled.

MARINATED FETA CHEESE APPETIZER

1 pound feta cheese
1 Tbs of each (adjust to taste:
Flaked dry red chili
Dried oregano
Dried parsley
Bay leaf
Dried lemon thyme
Dried basil
Fresh ground black pepper
Fennel seeds

Remove feta cheese from the pack and pat as dry as possible with kitchen towel.  Press the flavors into it.  Pack the cheese tightly into a jar and over with olive oil.  Keeps for up to two months.

Tips:  Don't use store bought herbs, instead make your own by drying leftover fresh herbs on a baking sheet.  Leave them somewhere warm: top of boiler, washing machine, or oven and they will dry within a week.  Or put them in an oven at 200 to 225 for an hour.

Uses:  One a big plate, covered in fresh basil, served with lots of other salads, as a cheese course with crusty bread and fruit.  Don't throw away the oil - use it in your dressings.