Bought tofu, pressed it for two hours last night and soaked it overnight in a Teriyaki Ginger Sauce… following this recipe. Will take some pictures and share if we like it!
OK, OK, I know, we talked about rice salad two months ago! But summer is the time of year where you don’t want to spend time slaving in a hot kitchen. You want to make things that can last a few days as leftovers — that you can eat on a whim.
As you know, I rarely make the same exact recipe. I vary everything depending on my mood and my desire to get in the car and supplement the ingredients I have on hand. Lazy, I know, but practical.
Well, I riffed again and this one was pretty yummy and oh, so summery that I had to share more details. I think I’ll call this one “Triple Treat.” Why? Well, there are 3 kinds of grains in this one. (And you know, if I write it down, I’ll remember that I didn’t add garlic this time and it’s still awesome!!!) Anywho…
- white basmati rice (about 3 cups cooked)
- wild rice (one cup dry, about 2 cups cooked)
- rainbow quinoa (one cup dry about 3 cups cooked)
All good rice salads start with cooked, cooled rice. I make the rice in my rice cooker (the best investment I have made over the years — I get perfect rice all the time.) When everything stops steaming you put it in a big bowl. Then you add the eye candy. I added:
- two big bright orange carrots chopped into tiny pieces
- a head of celery chopped into tiny pieces
- one half a big sweet onion chopped (tiny!)
- a cup of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- a big handful of fresh chives from my garden, cut into tiny pieces with my scissors
Then the sweet stuff:
- about 1/2 cup of raisins
- about 1/2 cup of dried plums (tiny pieces — you can find them near the dried plums in a small canister)
- about 1 cup of sunflower seeds
- about 1 cup of chopped walnuts
Then the dressing!
This time, I wanted a sweeter taste. So, I did this to my taste, and this is where you really have to taste and adjust as you like:
- 3/4 walnut oil
- 1/4 olive oil
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- few shakes of peach flavored vinegar (probably 4 tablespoons?)
- salt (teaspoon?)
- sugar – 1/4 cup (?)
- squeeze of lime
I mixed the dressing up and kept adding a little salt and sugar until I got the taste I was looking for. A real mix of sweet and salty. I poured my concoction over all the other ingredients that I had assembled in a large bowl and gently mixed it through the rice.
Rice salad usually tastes better the second day you have it. Why? The flavors meld together, the dressing gets absorbed into the grains and you can then season again with a little more salt & fresh pepper when you serve it.
Try this and let me know how you like it! It’s filling, the quinoa has protein in it and the melange of flavors will have people begging for more!
Looking for a side dish to wow them at your next picnic? Something you can make today and eat all week? When I hear “Mom, can you make your rice salad again?” I know I have a good thing going.
Get a nice big bowl — so that you can put in all your ingredients and toss them around.
Cook up and cool to room temperature 1 cup of rainbow quinoa (“keen wah”) Ratio: 1 cup of dried quinoa to 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes and shut it off until the water is absorbed. Or, you can do it in your microwave. 5 minutes on high and 15 on medium power. Done.
Cook 2 cups of jasmine rice – which expands to about 4 cooked — and let it come to room temperature. (I have a rice cooker — best investment I ever made.)
While they are cooking — finely chop 3-4 carrots, 3-4 celery stalks — I use The Pampered Chef food chopper to get tiny pieces — so you wind up with about 1 cup chopped of each.
Add a cup of each of the following to a bowl:
– dried cranberries
– golden raisins
– chopped walnuts
Put it all in a the big bowl.
In a separate bowl mix up a vinaigrette of your choice. I used a black cherry balsamic vinegar (about 1/3 cup), a little maple syrup (3 tablespoons?) and 1/2 cup of good extra virgin olive oil. Add a pinch or three of salt. Mix it up ‘good’.
Pour the vinaigrette over the rice/quinoa/veggie/dried fruit/nut mix. Carefully toss to coat everything. Taste. Season as you wish with more salt or make more vinaigrette.
As good as this is the first day, if you let it sit overnight in the fridge, it’s even better the next day!!!