Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rice and Vegetable Salad

This is one of my summer favorites and can easily be adapted to use vegetables that are in season.  I really like it with fresh peas but the season is so short.... The  Vinaigrette is from the original  The Silver Palate Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheild Lukins; the basic rice salad recipe is adapted from this same cookbook.  I often halve the recipe and/or add just the peas, currants and half the dressing if I am not using all the rice at once.  I then add the fresh veggies, herbs and remainder of dressing shortly before serving.


Serves 6 to 10 depending on other accompaniments.

Make:

8 c hot cooked rice ( NOTE: this is a “cooked” not a “dry measurement”)

Transfer rice to a large mixing bowl and add:

"Our Favorite Vinaigrette" * or Mustard Dressing to taste
I do not like this salad over-dressed and generally use about 3/4 cup of dressing, you may wish to use more. I suggest adding 1/2 cup to hot rice and then more, to taste, after salad has cooled and veggies have been added.

1 c dried currants
See below: if frozen peas are used, add at this time
Toss thoroughly and allow to cool to room temperature, then add:

1 sweet red pepper, stemmed, cored, and cut into thin julienne
1 sweet green pepper, stemmed, cored, and cut into thin julienne
6 scallions, cleaned and finely sliced
1 c shelled fresh peas, if available or 2 c snap peas, cut in half horizontally
OR 1 package frozen peas, thawed and drained (add when rice is warm)
½ c pitted black olives, sliced
¼ c chopped parsley
½ c chopped fresh dill
Pepper to taste

DON’T WORRY if you don’t have all veggies and herbs; experiment leaving out what you don’t have or like and adding other veggies (cherry tomatoes, snap peas, green beans (blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water then quickly cooled and dried), fresh corn, cooked and cut from cob, carrots cut into julienne.
Serve immediately or refrigerate and return to room temperature before serving

ROTINI AND VEGETABLE SALAD: Use 1 pound of rotini, cooked and drained instead of rice.

WILD RICE AND CRANBERRY NUT SALAD: Use 8 cups cooked wild rice OR 4 cups cooked wild rice and 4 cups cooked brown rice OR 8 cups cooked wild rice blend such as Lundberg Wild Blend instead of white rice. Omit the olives and dill and add 1/2 c chopped pecans with the vegetables and use dried cranberries instead of currants. Dress with Mustard Dressing or Raspberry Vinaigrette (I use Annie's Raspberry Vinaigrette).

* "OUR FAVORITE VINAIGRETTE (page 147)

1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
minced parsley and/or snipped fresh chives, to taste
1/2 c olive oil"

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