Rice and Cherry Salad

(I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July! I had a very busy but very fun weekend, and I have a yummy, patriotic dessert to share with you later this week. Stay tuned!)

Admission time: I hate summer. I hate hot weather, couldn’t care less about getting a tan, and dread the months of July and August. Meanwhile, I love February, think the best day of the year is the day of the first snow, and have a collection of jackets and coats that rival many women’s shoe collection.

All that is to say, when the weather heats up, I’m in a bad way. I glare out my window at the shimmering heat, and try my best not to eat anything warm. I never succeed (I do love grilled corn) at completely eliminating hot foods from my diet, but when I can find something that’s substantial and still cool, I always do a little jump for joy.

When it comes to cool, refreshing foods for summer, a lot of people assume vegetarians go straight for salads. And they’re not completely wrong, but let’s be honest: as much as I love it, there’s only so much rocket you can eat. And as you’ve probably already noticed, I like to play with the concept of salads.

So forget the mixed greens, people! Grab some pearl rice and try this one out. I used “jade” pearl rice, which is a fancy name for a greenish, bamboo-infused rice, but any old pearl rice will do. I also used red cherries, but white cherries would work, as well. And I tried this out twice, once with cashews and once with pistachios, and though I preferred pistachios by a hair, they were both really good, so go with whichever you have lying around.