A Simple Salad Makes A Light Meal For All

Despite fall officially arriving in September, summer weather often lingers well into the month. On those days when steamy temperatures persist, it’s ideal to have a recipe that is easy to throw together in a matter of minutes.

While one may not expect “rice” and “salad” to be in the same sentence, that’s just what’s in store with this recipe for “Heirloom Rice Salad” from “Edible Seattle: The Cookbook” (Sterling Epicure) by Jill Lightner.

Heirloom Rice Salad
Serves 4

1 12 ounce block firm tofu
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1⁄4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cups cooked and cooled heirloom rice or mixed grain rice
2 cups red grapes, halved
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
3⁄4 cup raw or salted or roasted cashews

1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Slice the tofu into 1⁄3-inch-thick slabs. Add the grapeseed oil to the hot pan and fry the tofu until it is golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and let cool. Slice the fried tofu into small strips.

2. Whisk together the mirin, sesame oil and vinegar in a small bowl for the dressing. Set aside.

3. In a large salad bowl, gently toss the cooked rice, grape halves, scallions, pepper slices, and fried tofu strips together. Fold in the dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Add the cashews just before serving (they will get soft and rubbery if allowed to sit).

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