Asian Rice Salad

Last night we decided to finally grill the chicken kabobs that we had marinating in our refrigerator. One of my most favorite meals during the summertime is shish kabobs of some sort; I make them almost weekly. I knew I wanted to serve rice with them, but wanted something different than just plain boring white rice. Mike suggested, “What about a rice salad?” I had no idea what he meant, but it sounded pretty delicious, so over to the computer I went. In about 2 minutes, I found something that could work. Thanks, Internet 😉

Asian Rice Salad – adapted from About.com (written by Jolinda Hackett)

  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or peanut oil if you have it on hand, which I did not)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame-chili oil
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley (I used dried)
  • any other vegetables that work with Asian cuisine
  1. In a small bowl, combine oils, vinegar, salt & pepper, and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the rice in a larger bowl. Toss gently to coat, then set aside.
  2. Steam the carrot & peas for one minute. Drain & stir into rice.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Let cool.

Enjoying a summery Sunday evening

This recipe was originally written to be served cold. However, for the sake of time in our house (we were pretty hungry!), I served it warm. The vinaigrette that you mix in with the rice adds a really nice, subtle flavor to the rice, without overpowering whatever you are serving the salad with. You can even add a touch of soy sauce if you wish. The original recipe also calls for a few more vegetables. I omitted those simply because we were making shish kabob and grilling vegetables anyways.

When making this again, I would add sweet peppers, maybe some bok choy, or bean sprouts. The possibilities are endless! With more vegetables and some protein, this could also be a really easy, filling main dish. We do have a significant amount of leftovers, so this will most likely get made into fried rice for lunches.

The salad paired perfectly with our kabobs, and was thoroughly enjoyed as we dined in our backyard. I love summer 🙂

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Radicchi-oh?

Radicchio. The only encounters I’ve ever had with this vegetable have been in those prewashed, prepackaged salad mixes that you buy when you’re too lazy to hack up a head of lettuce, or simply because it’s convenient. I recall that it tasted crunchier, but much more bitter.

Thus, I was a bit perplexed when it arrived, green & purple, in my CSA box this past week. I began searching the Internet & Pinterest, to get inspired. Immediately, a recipe popped up that seemed somewhat doable, and bearable – and would also use the snap peas still lurking in my fridge. I had to give it a try.

Snap Pea & Radicchio Slaw – adapted from Real Simple

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (not pictured)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper
  • sugar snap peas, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 small head radicchio, washed and sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp bacon bits (not pictured)

In a medium bowl, combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and a dash of salt & pepper. Add peas, radicchio, and bacon bits; toss to combine.

You can see when comparing the two recipes that mine is slightly different. When making this recipe originally, I thought that the dressing was much too sour (this is coming from a girl who loves her dill pickles and salt&vinegar anything!) and was missing ‘something’. I added the lemon juice and it seemed to mellow out the vinegar while sweetening the greens. The bacon bits were also added to give a sort of pseudo-smoky flavor to the slaw. Both additions I feel really rounded out the dish.

I enjoy the contrast of colors ! Very summery.

Before coming across this recipe, I would never think that snap peas and radicchio would be a good combination. But it works, it’s tasty, and a pretty good dish for this time of year – very light and crisp. I hope that this will help someone out there feel a little less intimidated by the head they find in their weekly CSA box!

Italian Potato Salad

This recipe is one that I grew up with (thanks, Mom!). It’s simple, really, and is one of those dishes that reminds me of summer. I served this the other night with some baked chicken, though it goes with pretty much anything.

For this, I used the red potatoes that came with this week’s CSA.

Italian Potato Salad – adapted from my mom 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-2 lbs small red potatoes
  • 2-4 scallions
  • 2-4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano

* Please note: my measurements are a little vague, simply because up until blogging I never really measured when making this dish. Rather, I relied on my own personal taste. This time around, I measured a bit and included what I thought would be the best crowd-pleaser.

  1. Cut potatoes into halves, if needed. Boil in a large saucepan until cooked. Drain & put into large bowl.
  2. Slice scallions & add to bowl. Add remaining ingredients & mix to combine.
  3. Do a taste test to determine if you need anymore vinegar, oil or spices.
  4. Chill for at least a 1/2 hour.

I almost forgot to snap a picture before eating it! There’s a few spoonfuls on my dinner plate, set aside.

This salad is good warm, or chilled (I prefer a slight chill to it). Enjoy!