Summer Salads

I love having salads in the summer. However, I don’t always want the typical lettuce salad. This salad is prepared on the grill and on the stove. It’s a Southwest Chicken and Rice Salad.

What I enjoy about this dish is all the flavors. Plus the next day I like to roll it up in a tortilla and make a wrap.

I like to make this salad using brown rice because it’s better for you. However, if you prefer white rice it’s just as good. I’ve made it both ways.

Southwest Chicken and Rice Salad
Makes 6 servings

3/4 cup olive oil
4 green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chilies*
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
4 ears fresh corn, shucked** (can also use 2 cups frozen corn kernels)
2 poblano chilies, quartered lengthwise, seeded
2 red bell peppers, quartered lengthwise, seeded

3 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups long-grain white rice
(if using brown rice follow instructions on your package using same amount of water in this recipe, plus amount of rice required on package)

Whisk first 5 ingredients and 1/2 cup cilantro in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Place chicken, corn, chilies and bell peppers on rimmed baking sheet. Brush 1/2 cup dressing over both sides of chicken and vegetables. Let stand 30 minutes.

Bring 3 1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in heavy large saucepan. Mix in rice. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Keep pan covered and let rice stand 5 minutes. Transfer rice to large bowl; fluff with fork. Pour 1/2 cup dressing over hot rice and toss; let cool.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Grill chicken and vegetables (use a vegetable grate) until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender and slightly charred, about 6 minutes per side. Cut chicken, peppers and chilies into strips. Cut corn off cobs (see photo for easy method). Toss chicken and vegetables in medium bowl with enough dressing to coat; add to rice and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide salad among 6 plates. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and serve.

*Chipotle chilies canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available at supermarkets in the mexican foods or ethnic sections.

**Removing corn kernels from the cob can be messy—they like to bounce off the cutting board and end up scattered all over the counter and floor. To keep those kernels in their place, insert the tip of the ear of corn into the center hole of a Bundt pan. Cut the kernels away from the cob in long downward strokes, letting them fall into the pan. (see photo above)

Great served with fresh fruit and tortilla chips. Perfect to bring for a BBQ.

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