Friday, July 27, 2012

Rice salads for summer

Rice salads make a great accompaniment to grilled pork, chicken or fish.
   Served cold, rice salads provide a pleasing texture difference next to grilled meat. Often dressed up with vegetables, fruit, and herbs, they satisfy cravings for summery freshness. They might even be tried by those who abhor pasta salad.
   They’re great to make in advance, and a terrific contribution to a potluck-style barbecue.
   Today I’ve got a couple of great rice salad recipes to tell you about.

Cherry, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad (click for the recipe) from Eating Well magazine reminded me of a really great Waldorf salad, with its cherries, celery, goat cheese and pecans.
   The combination of wild rice and quinoa will not only satisfy the folks in your life who like those foods, but everyone else as well.
   Wild rice is cooked in boiling water. The recipe says to do this for 30 minutes, but I did it for 35 instead, with the lid off. Quinoa is added and the mixture cooked for another 15 minutes (I put the lid on for the last 15 minutes). The wild rice and quinoa are rinsed with cold water until cool to the touch.
   Raspberry or pomegranate vinegar (I used raspberry red-wine vinegar) is combined with salt and pepper. The rice, quinoa, pitted and halved cherries, diced celery, goat cheese or smoked cheddar cheese and toasted pecans are added and tossed to combine.

Red Curry Chicken with Rice Salad (click for the recipe) from Real Simple magazine - the star of this recipe is the rice salad. The chicken was merely adequate, but the rice salad is a winner. Leftovers are great for lunch the next day.
   Long-grain white rice is cooked and spread on a plate and left to cool.
   Canola oil, Asian fish sauce, and sugar are combined in a bowl. The rice, a thinly-sliced jalapeno or serrano pepper (it doesn’t need to be red like the recipe says; it can be green), snow peas, and thinly-sliced scallions (green onions or spring onions) are added and the salad tossed.

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