I watch, in pained silence, as Jared dissects his dinner pine nuts here, raisins there, peach chunks over here and then eats each ingredient separately. He swears it tastes better that way.
1 cup long-grain white rice, (uncooked)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 tsp olive oil, or vegetable oil
1/2 cup raisins, (golden, if you have them)
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup diced pitted peaches, or nectarines
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
salt, to taste
In a medium saucepan, stir together the rice and the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover tightly and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Don't stir the rice while it's cooking -in fact, don't even look at it for the first 10 minutes or so. In the meantime, you and your young assistant can prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a very small skillet or saucepan, combine the pine nuts with 1 tsp. (5ml) of oil and toast lightly over very low heat until just slightly golden, stirring constantly. This will only take a few minutes, so don't walk away and answer the phone or anything -the pine will burn. When they are done, set them aside to cool.
Now, cut the celery into small cubes, about ¼ in. (½ cm) in size. This is a good job for a child who is old enough to handle a small knife. He can also dice the peaches or nectarines into (more or less) the same size pieces. Don't bother peeling the fruit unless your peaches are very fuzzy -the rosy skin makes the salad pretty. And have an extra peach or two available as pilferage insurance.
When the rice is cooked, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Add the toasted pine nuts, raisins, diced celery and fruit to the rice in the saucepan. Stir to combine.
Finally, in a small bowl, stir together the orange juice, lemon juice, the remaining oil, honey and salt. Pour this dressing over the rice mixture and give it another stir.
Now, you can simply chill the salad and serve it in a bowl, just the way it is. And that would be fine. But, for almost no extra work, you can be very fancy: Pack the rice mixture firmly into a 1-quart (1.4L) round-bottomed mixing bowl. Cover the top with plastic wrap and let cool completely. When ready to serve, remove the plastic, put a serving plate on top and carefully turn the bowl upside down -salad should fall out. Wow -did you do that? In this weather?
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