3/4 cup long-grain rice
1 green apple, peeled and quartered, cored, and finely diced
1/2 small red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1/4 medium red onion, minced
6 young radishes - not so red - finely chopped
2 tablespoons plus about 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Coarse black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 slices toasting bread
Softened butter, to spread on the toast
1 small head of red leaf lettuce, chopped
1 small head of green leaf lettuce, chopped
1 head of frisee, trimmed and separated
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 18 minutes, or until just tender, with a bite remaining.
Remove the lid and fluff the rice, then spread it on a rimmed cookie sheet to quick-cool. Heads up: This meal is a great use for cold leftover rice as well.
While the rice cooks, combine the apples, bell pepper, 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 blender, combine the remaining 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, the white wine vinegar, the chopped garlic, mustard, and some salt and pepper. Turn the blender on the "puree" setting and stream in the EVOO through the top. When the dressing emulsifies and is smooth, stop.
Toast the bread lightly in a toaster, and let it pop up. Let the bread stand for 5 minutes, then lightly toast it again.
The bread should be dry yet remain quite pale. Lightly butter the bread and cut it into tiny cubes.
Arrange the lettuces on a large platter. Scatter the frisee like lace across the lettuce. Scatter the cool rice across the salad and top with the crunchy apple mixture. Drizzle the dressing in a slow, even stream back and forth all over the salad. Serve the homemade baby croutons at the table to top and toss as you eat.
This was an unusual dinner. I enjoyed it, but my husband didn't like it. I have never had rice on a salad before, and I really like it, especially with the addition of the buttered bread. The only problem was that either there was too much lettuce or not enough dressing. Next time I would double or triple the amount of dressing, or else skip the homemade dressing and add bottled dressing. I did not add the frisee lettuce, because they don't sell it in my grocery store. This meal was swapped from November 2nd with Southwestern Pasta Bake.