Saturday, June 11, 2011

Island Rice Salad

A co-worker and friend of mine used to make a version of this delicious salad, whenever we had office potlucks years ago. It was a particular favorite of mine because it was (accidentally) vegan, but the whole office gobbled the stuff down too. I never got her exact recipe, but after playing with ingredients for several years, I think I'm pretty close.

And even if I'm wildly off base, this is still refreshing, kid-friendly and super-tasty. Plus, it's an AWESOME recipe for summer picnics and potlucks.
I'm not sure why she called it "Island Rice Salad". Maybe for the pineapple? Who knows. Try it, it's amazing!

Island Rice Salad

6 cups cooked long-grain or Basmati brown (OK, I often use white) rice
1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange or tangerine juice
1 Tbsp fresh-squeeezed lime juice
1 tsp finely grated/microplaned orange (or tangerine) peel (zest)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed or put thru garlic press
3/4 cup crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

2 ribs celery
1 bunch green onion
1 or 2 red bell pepper, diced small
1 cup roasted peanuts
1/3 cup currants or golden raisins
2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

Cook rice according to directions. While it's cooking, make remainder of salad:

In a bowl, mix together the following ingredients: orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce, salt, crushed red pepper, minced garlic, crushed pineapple, orange zest, vinegar, brown sugar, and oil.

When the rice is cooked but still hot, stir in the dressing.
Cool rice in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally to distribute dressing evenly.
Thinly slice the celery and green onion. Dice the bell peppers. Chop the peanuts coarsely.
When the rice is fully cooled, stir in the celery, green onion, bell peppers, peanuts, currants and fresh herbs.
Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired.
Serve chilled, or at room temperature.


Jen said...

That sounds really good! Perhaps the island comes from the pineapple and citrus! I think this would go great with a jerked tofu or seitan.