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Mediterranean Rice Salad

June 19, 2011

In an effort to practice for my first exam at school, I made several cups of fluffy long-grain rice last week.  Jonathan and I are not avid rice eaters, but we learned to be after eating about a cup a day, four days in a row!  Practice after practice, the rice came out just right for our salads at home and then at school, the rice refused to cook.  Such is life right?

Usually I cheat and use a fancy rice cooker to do my work, but do to my exam I conquered stove-top rice.  It’s actually relatively easy.  Just remember to taste, taste, taste before letting it sit to steam!  The size of the pot and the heat will determine how slowly or quickly the rice will cook.  Be careful not to let it overcook, because the texture may become sticky.  Perfect for sushi, but fluffy rice is better for side salads.

Mediterranean Rice Salad
Serves 4-6 (Makes 4-5 cups)

2 cups water or mild, unsalted vegetable broth
1 cup long-grain brown rice
1 small bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
2 roma tomates, seeded and diced small (1/4-inch)
1/2 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 large ear, cut)
6 large scallions, thinly sliced (I used purple scallions, featured in the photo)
1/4 pound kalamata olives, pitted and halved
juice of 1 or 2 lemon(s)
salt and pepper to taste

1: In a small saucepan, bring water or broth to a boil.
2: In a medium bowl, wash rice in cold water.  Drain and repeat until wash water is clear.
3: Meanwhile, in a another small saucepan, dry-roast the rice until dry and emits a nutty aroma.  Add 1 3/4 cups of the boiling water (or broth) to rice with salt, to taste. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes, until rice is cooked to a light texture.  Texture should not be crunchy or sticky. Allow 10-15 minutes for covered rice to steam. Fluff with a fork.
4: In a large bowl, toss rice, kale, tomatoes, corn, scallions, olives with the juice of 1 lemon.  Add pepper and additional salt if needed.  Drizzle additional lemon juice over the salad if desired.

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