Saturday, May 19, 2007

Rice Salad

This is a great dish for a picnic.

Cook one cup of rice (proportions depend on the variety of rice, but generally two cups water to one cup rice; bring water to a boil, add rice, simmer until water is absorbed). Cool. The rice may be refrigerated in a covered container if you plan to make the salad later.

For the dressing, put a generous tablespoon basil pesto in a small bowl. Blend in ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil. Blend in about 1/8 cup lemon juice. Mix well with the rice (I use a 12 cup covered bowl).

Add ingredients as you like. A particularly well-received rice salad included
  • ½ cup snow peas (string removed, cut into ½ inch segments)
  • ½ cup green beans (ends removed, cut into ½ inch segments)
  • ½ pint grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup pitted Calamata olives
  • ¼ cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 6 chopped scallion stalks
  • 1 cup cooked white beans*
Refrigerate until serving.

Before serving, sprinkle on ¼-½ cup toasted peanuts (so they don't absorb the dressing ahead of time. If available, garnish with flowers from chive plants. (The flowers are edible, and have a peppery taste.)

*When I cook white beans for salads, after soaking and rinsing them, I often use a cup or so of the liquid from Calamata olives, capers, marinated red peppers, or something similar as the liquid to cook the beans in, adding additional water as necessary for the cooking.

A note about scallions (some call them green onions): If you trim to slightly above the white part on the bottom, you may plant that stem end and the scallions will grow back. I continue to harvest them when they have grown 6-8 inches. In our garden, they survived the winter and continue to grow.


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