JEWEL RICE SALAD
Steamed rice and pearl-sized colorful vegetables marinated in a seasoned gourmet rice vinegar and fresh ginger. Garnished with pickled ginger slices.
Makes 5-1/2 cups

1-1/2 c. long grain white rice
1-3/4 c. water
1 t. salt
1/3 c. seasoned rice vinegar
1 t. dry mustard
2 t. finely chopped, peeled, fresh ginger
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. diced fresh mushrooms, 1/4 inch cubes
1/3 c. diced sweet fresh red pepper, 3/8 inch squares
1/4 c. diced carrot, 1/4 inch cubes
2 T. sliced scallion, green and white part
3/4 c. frozen petite peas, thawed
pickled ginger slices (pink is nice)

Rinse rice several times till the water runs clear. Drain well, then combine rice, water and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to boil, stir, cover, reduce heat to low and cook exactly 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork.

In small bowl combine vinegar, mustard, ginger and salt. Stir well and set aside.

Prepare vegetables. Dice all veggies no larger than pearl size; remember that these are jewels

To assemble salad: Place room temperature rice into large mixing bowl. Add mushrooms, red pepper, carrot, scallion and peas. Pour dressing over all and stir gently but thoroughly, taking care to separate all the grains of rice (stirring with fork or chopsticks makes this easier).

Refrigerate several hours before serving to allow the ginger and vinegar to flavor the rice. When ready to serve, garnish with pickled ginger slices.

Notes: Obtain seasoned rice vinegar in most supermarkets.

This salad makes a particularly appropriate brown bag lunch for work of any kind, for its low calorie, non-fat, highly satisfying qualities. The pickled ginger slices create a beautiful contrast to this rice, and the zesty flavor further enhances it. Obtain pickled ginger at most markets as well, but especially Asian.

To make a luncheon salad, stuff either red or green peppers, or tomatoes with the rice, then top each with 2 California black olives, stuffed with a pea from the salad. This makes a beautiful presentation.

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