This salad is becoming a summertime staple at my house. Perfect for the hot days we are experiencing this weekend. So glad it's cherry season!
+ Brown Rice Salad with Cherries and Chicken +
• recipe from Whole Foods Market
• 3/4 cup basmati rice, rinsed
• 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 shallot, finely chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound cherries, pitted and quartered
• 1 pound prepared grilled or roasted chicken breasts, diced (about 3 1/2 cups)
• 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
• 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped
• 1/2 cup finely sliced basil leaves
1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan and stir in rice and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt. Bring back to a boil, stir again, cover and simmer until the rice is just tender but not mushy, about 40 minutes (not all the water will be absorbed). Drain rice and rinse briefly under cold water. Drain again.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, shallot, pepper and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Add cherries, chicken, cucumbers and onion; toss. Add rice and pecans and toss again. Serve at room temperature garnished with basil.
TAKE a LOOK:
Actually, it was appetizers on the patio and dinner indoors. We successfully dodged raindrops, but no one has a fighting chance against a Minnesota mosquito.
I'll show you around our friends' home -- the patio and indoors -- and give you a couple of recipes from our dinner that night.
Wisconsin award-winning cheese by Holland's Family Cheese
I love French jacquard tablecloths!
Bruschetta with ricotta, tomatoes, and pine nuts
Our main dish of Scallops with Cilantro Sauce and Asian Slaw
My contribution... Tropical Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting. Best carrot cake I've ever eaten!
TAKE a LOOK:
January. The new year. After the busyness of the holidays, everything suddenly becomes quiet and time, very briefly, seems to slow down for me. Many hours are spent contemplating what's ahead. Is this the spring that I will finally change out my brick-edged vegetable plots for raised beds with new soil? Will my hand-drawn Cochon on the kitchen blackboard be erased and replaced with a Bouledogue Francaise perhaps?
(notice any similarities?)
While preparing for our daughter's wedding last year, we put aside any thoughts of travel -- but this new year we've already booked a trip, traveling by train later this summer, to Glacier National Park where we will stay in historic lodges in the U.S. and Canada... A photography show in and of my hometown, Amana, Iowa, is a possibility... And France, unfortunately, has been put on hold until spring 2014 (it seems like an eternity); Paris and Provence with my sister and best friend, Renate. Sometimes the anticipation is almost more exciting than the actual event (well, almost), and talking about and planning our visit will certainly consume my time and thoughts over the upcoming months.
So, in the meantime, I continue to spend my days in the kitchen. I need to plan more luncheons and dinners with friends. That will give me an excuse to bake the desserts that are tempting me, something I've been trying to limit in this new year. Until then, I'll focus on healthy salads. When I stumbled upon "Forbidden" black rice at a local grocery, I snatched it up and made this delicious recipe from the Kitchn. I highly recommend it!
Serves 4 as a side portion
• 1 cup black rice
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
• 1 grapefruit, peeled and quartered and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 avocado, peeled and diced
• 2 green onions, chopped
• Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Rinse the rice. In a small, lidded saucepan bring to a boil 1 3/4 cups of cold water and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the black rice, return to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 40 minutes or until the water has been absorbed (check the rice after 30 minutes). Once cooked, uncover and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
2. While the rice is cooking, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, orange juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and rice wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Place the rice in a serving bowl and add the vinaigrette and remaining ingredients. Gently stir to combine and adjust seasonings. Salad may be refrigerated for up to two days.
TAKE a LOOK: