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Hot, Hot Summer & Rice, Mango and Cucumber Salad

August 4, 2011

And we thought summer would never come. Then, in a fiery ball of hot, soupy weather, we are drowning in August. We must remind ourselves though, and we do often, that the chillier days will be here soon enough and the days of August heat will be but a nostalgic thought and distant wish away. For now, we can surround our selves with fresh garden vegetables and cool summer salads. At least until the gardens begin to wilt and all but die from the strain of the beating sun…

^Just.Sayin. (Middle GA has a heat index of 108 today)

Yesterday, Mom and I decided that everyone was sick of cucumber salad, so we started searching for recipes to make that involved cucumbers, but were not “cucumber salad.” I found a rice, mango and cucumber salad recipe that we doctored a bit. This is good, since we now have a surplus of rather ripe mangoes from my Aunt’s house in Florida. We ended up with this excellent, refreshing and easy to make dish:

Black Rice, Mango and Cucumber Salad:

1 ½ cups black rice

1 mango, chopped

1 cucumber, chopped (you may seed/peel if you wish..we didn’t)

3 green onions, sliced thin

1 jalapeño, seeded and sliced thin

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup slivered almonds

2 Tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lime

2 tsp honey or raw sugar

½-1 tsp cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Boil 4 cups of water (black rice usually takes about 3:1 water ratio, but mine always get dry, so I usually just drain it if there is excess) pour in a bit of oil and then add rice. Boil for 45 or so minutes. In the mean time, you can prep the other ingredients and set aside. Drain and run under cool water. Place rice in a large bowl and add all of the other ingredients, stir well. Place in fridge to chill.

Mmmmm! First of all, I always like the ease of pasta/rice salads because they can be made ahead of time and when dinner is ready and you are doing other things (like attempting to make Grape Jelly) it’s already ready. Of course, you can throw it together just before dinner too, and works all the same. Second, I always enjoy food that can be made mostly from the back yard (both ours and our relatives).

The original recipe used wild rice, but I decided to use black rice because I already had some. Black rice has a slightly nutty flavor which I thought would hold up in a mainly fruit sweetened salad. PLUS, its extra healthy grain full or iron, and antioxidants, you can read more about that (and find some more recipes to use it in): HERE.

I had a bowl for lunch today and I threw some craisins on top, mmm. Its definitely more flavorful now that it has had a few hours to set. I’d suggest this as a party dish that you could make the night before.

Enjoy!

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