It was a beautiful sunny hot Summer like Saturday here in New York with the temperature hovering just around 90 degrees. It is the first day of May with weather that has you moving at a little slower pace and the type that transports you a few months ahead of where we are on the seasonal calendar. Equally as warm and relaxing was dinner with friends. The dinner table was just the place to unwind mid-weekend with some good friends and conversation. Keeping the summer-like theme already in place the menu included a grain ‘salad’ or cold pilaf of quinoa, Greek style, with green bell pepper, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, fresh parsley, garlic, toasted pignoli nuts, and french feta cheese. Accompanying the quinoa was a green leaf salad of Bibb lettuce with garlic vinaigrette, and pan seared shrimp dusted with chipotle powder. Quinoa is handsdown a favorite grain here making an appearance at my table regularly mainly for it’s versatility but also for it’s mildly nutty flavor and high brow nutritional value that can’t go without mentioning. Again, the versatility of this grain keeps it fresh for me, one grain I really never get tired of.