This post written by the original Ebby.
After a slow start, it's finally starting to feel like spring around here. The past few weeks have been filled with rain, wind and cold. And lots of tornadoes. So it was a nice surprise to find the sun peeking out yesterday. I battled 30 mph winds to mow my lawn, and the smell of cut grass filled my head with a yearning to be on a boat in the middle of a lake--somewhere, anywhere!--with a cold drink in hand.
Since it's not quite yet boating weather in Iowa, I settled for a fresh tasting salad instead. Its flavorful combination of Mediterranean ingredients, including olives, sundried tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, artichokes, lemon and feta, felt much more spring-like than the heavy winter meals I'd been eating to get me through the gray days. And also, it really made me want to slip away to Italy for the weekend. Not that this is an authentic Italian dish or anything, but anything with olive oil always makes me dream about places like Tuscany. Remember the movie with Diane Lane? That's pretty much what I imagine my life will be like. Someday.
Yes, I'm an idealist. Why do you ask?
Anyway, in my normal, everyday, non-Italian life I've been pressed for time, and haven't grocery shopped with a list in hand for months. This salad materialized while I was pulling random ingredients from my fridge and pantry, so feel free to substitute with whatever you have on hand. If your rice is precooked, this dish can be thrown together in about 10 minutes. A definite bonus for those summer days (coming soon!) when you've got more important things to do than spend time in the kitchen.