Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brown Rice Salad with Mango Chutney Dressing

What a refreshing summer salad this is! Make it in the morning … have it as a simple, high-fiber lunch or dinner. It works well with almost anything, but a small green salad and a barbecued steak are especially good alongside! This recipe serves 8. It keeps well for two or three days, so leftovers aren’t a problem.
Brown Rice Salad with Mango Chutney Dressing:
2 c. uncooked long-grain brown rice (not “instant” rice)
1 cup dried mango, coarsely chopped
1 c. mango chutney
¼ c. olive oil
2 large, tart apples such as Granny Smiths, unpeeled and cut into ½-inch chunks
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed but uncooked
¼ c. mint sauce with leaves (or finely chopped fresh mint)
¼ c. slivered almonds, toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste
Rinse rice under cold, running water before adding to pot or rice cooker (see Note). Stir in dried mango. Top with 4 to 5 c. cold water and cook according to instructions on rice packet. While rice cooks, whisk together mango chutney and olive oil as dressing; set aside. When rice finishes cooking, toss with remaining ingredients including dressing. Add salt and pepper, to taste (I use none; it’s fine). Serve at room temperature. 
Note: Golly! Although it contains celery, this salad looks very "brown." They aren't in the photo, unfortunately, but when I added some frozen peas to the recipe as an afterthought, the appearance of this salad perked right up! Peas or no peas, it's delicious!
Note: Ah, Dollinks! I cannot let you go without singing the praises of a rice cooker. There are many small appliances you can do without in your kitchen (I’ve seen some that are perfectly ludicrous and a total waste of money and storage space, but I don’t care to be sued), but a good rice cooker is not one of them. I have two - a large Sanyo-brand cooker big enough to feed half of China, and a small Salton-brand cooker that’s just the right size for feeding four or five people, or usually just Ron and I. Of the two, I prefer the Salton, which once cost me the princely sum of $15. With a rice cooker, there’s no worrying about boil-overs, burned pots, or under-cooked rice. There’s also no need to watch a timer. White rice takes 20 minutes flat; brown or wild rice takes 45. If you’re not around once the cooker's done its job, it will keep the rice warm until you are. A rice cooker truly is one of my favorite kitchen tools.

Combine rice with remaining ingredients and serve

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