July 29, 2012

3 Rice, 3 Berry, 3 Herb Salad

Summer Days call for chilled salads, Summer Days are Berry Days, and Summer Days are Fresh Herb Days as well. We had a 3x Birthday party in the family today and I wanted to make sure I had a plant-based dish to take along. I wanted to try Chef AJ's Quinoa Salad with Currants and Pistachios - but our niece is allergic to nuts and I wasn't sure if she'd ever been tested for Quinoa. But now, my mind was hooked on to memory of that salad :) !!! I decided to make a variation of it. Here's what I came up with. 

3 Rice & 3 Berry Salad
Prep Time: Overall 30 min, or so in 2 stages.

  1. 1/2 cup White Basmati Rice
  2. 1/2 cup Brown Basmati Rice
  3. 2-3 tbsp Long grain Wild Rice
  4. 2-3 tbsp Raisins
  5. 1 cup fresh Red Raspberries
  6. 1 cup fresh Blackberries
  7. 1 cup fresh Strawberries
  8. 2 tbsp Agave Syrup, or Honey
  9. 1/8 cup Soy milk
  10. 2 tbsp fresh chopped Basil, 
  11. 2 tbsp fresh chopped Mint 
  12. 2 tbsp fresh chopped Oregano
Boil rice, all 3 kinds together, in ample amounts of water until tender. Add the raisins to the boiling water for the last 2 minutes (this helps plump them up!). Drain and spread thinly on a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes (chill completely). Meanwhile wash and drain berries and slice strawberries and set aside. Put Agave syrup (or honey) in a small microwave safe bowl with the non-dairy milk and heat for 10 seconds to dissolve it in the milk. Once rice is chilled, move to a mixing bowl, add agave/milk mixture and toss well. Add chopped herbs and berries and give a final toss. Do a quick taste check - the rice should be just slightly sweet - add more 'agave in milk' if needed.

Cover and chill until ready to serve. The longer it sits, the better the flavors combine - the berry flavors and juices penetrate the rice, the herbs release their essential oils and flavor the rice and the berries! This is a salad where the wonderful aromas invite you to dig in.

My Assessment:  Loved it. What's not to like! The family liked it too :)

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