Friday, October 26, 2012
Most of us have those simple, easy recipes to fall back on. You know the ones, where the original recipe fell by the wayside long ago, or a family recipe that has been passed on, possibly with our own little tweaks added over the years. The dishes that can be whipped up quickly, often from the pantry and the garden.
My rice salad is such a dish. Originally it was my mother in law's tuna rice salad. Over the years, it has had many different reincarnations, depending upon what's been in the pantry or in season. Sometimes with tuna, sometimes without. Any assortment of chopped greens, or sometimes tinned beans. Sometimes fresh tomato, sometimes cucumber, corn or grated carrot. It is one of those dishes where almost anything goes. Perfectly suited to those long balmy type of afternoons, where you've been outside and need to rustle up an easy dinner quickly. Something filling but not too heavy.
I've never written down the actual amounts, but it's one of those recipes that works more instinctively. More a handful of this and a drizzle of that kind of cooking.
This is how I made it the other night.
I boiled about a half packet of brown rice (white is more than fine too) until tender. Once drained I added it to large bowl.
Then add your vegetables. I added big handfuls of chopped young spinach and rainbow chard from the garden. Remember, you can add whatever vegies you have on hand.
I also added a bunch of chopped chives and a small handful of mint from the garden. I love generous amounts of fresh herbs in this salad. Parsley is also very good. But whatever you have on hand. Spring onion or red onion is a good alternative to the chives.
I added a tin of tuna (I'm finding the Aldi pole caught tuna in oil to be quite good) and some chopped sundried tomatoes. A little of the oil from this adds a touch more flavour. Again, sundried tomatoes are something you don't have to add, but it does add a good punch of flavour.
To dress the salad season it well with sea salt, add a very generous amount of olive oil and the juice of a lemon. A clove of chopped garlic is also a good addition. Mix together. Keep taste testing and adjusting the amounts. You will know when you've got it right.
A tasty addition is a yoghurt garlic sauce on the side. For each cup of yoghurt add about 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic and season with sea salt. A nice way to serve it is with a sprinkling of sumac and a drizzle of olive oil.
Quick, easy and just perfect for the warmer months.
Do you have a favourite back up recipe during the warmer months?