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Monday, June 24, 2013

Cilantro Rice Salad

 I have to say that making summer-time salads has become my new obsession happiness.  I still adore baking sweets and treats but I honestly think that my next favorite category in the kitchen has become making those special salads that can be added to bbq's, picnics and warm weather celebrations. 
I love that you can take a grain or pasta and create a cold salad packed with veggies and herbs and then tossed with a simple vinaigrette.  Viola perfection of delicious-ness!
Recently, I was browsing through the recipe index on Mom's Test Kitchen's to find a recipe to make for my June's assignment for the Secret Recipe Club.  First of all let me tell you Jaime has a FANTABULOUS collection of recipes on her blog! Apple Cinnamon Pancakes first caught my attention until I spotted her Craisin Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake.  But then, like I have mentioned above,  summer-time salads have been really grabbing hold of my taste buds lately so when I noticed Jaime had a recipe for Corn, Tomato and Asparagus Salad I had a feeling I was going to sway towards the savory side of my taste buds instead of my usually SWEET side.  Well, then all bets were off.  I discovered a recipe for Cilantro Rice Salad and knew I had picked a winner!  I was SO right. SO right I say!  This lovely little treasure of a summer-time salad is completely and insanely delicious. And it is made with very little effort, simple ingredients and a versatile recipe on top of all that.  Jaime's original recipe called for serveral ingredients that I didn't have on hand (a red pepper, limes and green onions) so I substituted in a couple different veggies for those that I didn't have and the salad came out completely fine.  I also added in some cherry tomatoes for color and taste. Although I used the juice of one lemon and was happy with my substitution for the missing limes called for in the recipe, next time I will definitely use fresh lime juice as I believe that lime and cilantro are meant to be together always and forever. 
Find an excuse to make this salad.  Crash a BBQ, invite your favorite people over to your own party or make it just because you deserve a yummy treat.  Just make this gosh-darn-delicious salad!! Do. It.
Cilantro Rice Salad
(recipe slightly adapted from Mom's Test Kitchen)
Salad base ingredients:
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup rice (I used long grain white)
1/2 chopped fresh cilantro
1 green or red pepper, chopped (my addition)
1/2 cup green onions, chopped (I used regular onion as I didn't have the green onions on hand)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half (my addition)
juice of 3 limes (I used juice of 1 lemon was yummy)
Dressing ingredients:
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt (my addition)
ground pepper to taste
1.  Bring chicken broth and rice to a boil in a medium/large sauce pan.  Once broth comes to boil, cover pan tightly and turn heat down to a simmer.  Simmer rice for 15-20 minutes until liquid is gone and rice is fluffy.  Cool rice at room temperature or in fridge.
2. Make dressing for salad while rice cools.  In a large bowl whisk together lime (or lemon juice), oil, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and cumin.  Add in cooled rice and chopped veggies to the dressing. Toss all together.  Refrigerate until desired time to eat and ENJOY!!  
Happy, Happy Cilantro Rice Salad Making!


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