Must Go Brown Rice Salad

Recipe Courtesy Buffy Miller-Jackson.

Rice Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 cups water

Basic Vinaigrette Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/8 cup cider or red wine vinegar
generous splash of cranberry juice
1 clove very finely minced garlic
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Additional Ingredients:
1/2 of a red bell pepper, minced
1/2 of a green bell pepper, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped 4 green onions sliced both white and green parts used
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup broccoli florets, broken up fairly small
A generous amount of roughly chopped parsley

1. Combine the rice and water in a heavy bottom pan and heat to boiling. Cover turn down the heat to LOW and simmer 30 minutes. DON'T lift the cover. Turn off heat and let the pot sit for 5 minutes. To add flavor to the rice, substitute broth or orange or cranberry juice for 1/2 of the liquid when cooking the rice.

2. Whisk the basic vinaigrette ingredients together and pour over the warm rice in a large bowl. The dijon mustard in the vinaigrette acts as an emulsifier helping to keep the dressing from separating.

3. Add the chopped vegetables to the rice, dressing mixture and toss well. Let the salad sit for an hour or two before serving to allow all the flavors to absorb. This can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Because this salad doesn't use any mayonaise it is a great choice for summer picnic meals. The vegetables you add are completely up to you. It's a great way to use up all the "must go" items from the frig. This salad also works well with many other grains, quinoa, barley, farrow couscous or even orzo can be substituted for the brown rice. Just follow the suggested cooking times.
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