It's been a while since I've updated, mostly due to my 10-day absence during spring break at the end of March. (It was lovely - I spent a weekend in New York City with my best friend from high school and then the rest of the time lounging on the beach in southwest Florida with some college friends.) Since getting back, I've been trying to eat healthier, since I always tend to binge on vacations. Over the last week I've made a lot of very simple, not-quite-blog-worthy meals: marinated and grilled chicken, steamed vegetables, fresh fruit, and the like.
Last night I stuck to my healthy theme but got a bit more elaborate. My friend Chris came over to watch a movie and we decided to make big, beautiful salads. The results were so pretty that I had to take a picture and post the recipe, which I adapted from one by Rachael Ray (yes, again).
Incredible Crunchy Salad
Heat 1-1/3 cups water in a small pot. When it comes to a boil, salt it and add the rice. Cover and reduce to a simmer and cook the rice for about 18 minutes or until just tender, with a bite remaining. Remove the lid and fluff the rice, then spread it on a cookie sheet to quick-cool.
- Coarse salt
- 3/4-c. long grain rice
- 1 green apple, peeled, quartered, cored, and finely diced
- 1 small red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
- 1/4 medium red onion, minced
- 6 radishes, finely chopped
- 2 T plus about 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 T white wine vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Coarse black pepper
- 1/4-c extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small package croutons or crostini
- 2 packages pre-washed lettuce mix (pick your favorite)
- 1-lb. chicken cutlets
While the rice cooks, combine the apples, bell peppers, onions, and radishes in a small bowl, adding them to it as you chop. Dress them with about 2 tablespoons of the fresh lemon juice and lightly toss the crunchy mixture with your fingertips.
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, the white wine vinegar, the chopped garlic, mustard, and some salt and pepper. Add the olive oil gradually as you whisk.
Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper and saute or grill over medium-high heat (I used a stove-top grill pan). While they cook, crunch two big handfuls of the croutons/crostini into small pieces. When the chicken is done, slice it into half-inch-thick slices crosswise.
Arrange the lettuces on plates. Scatter the cool rice across the salad, layer on the crunchy apple/pepper/onion/radish mixture and the croutons/crostini, and arrange the chicken slices on top. Drizzle the dressing in a slow, even stream all over the salad.
Labels: apple, bell pepper, chicken, rachael ray, radish, rice, salad