This post written by the original Ebby.
It's pushing 90 today and I'm looooving the warmth and sun. If only I was near a body of water, sand between my toes, with a fruity drink in hand. But hey, at least there's months between now and the next snowstorm! I've got plenty of time to find that beach.
The heat makes me crave something light and refreshing, and this salad fits the bill perfectly. The flavors of lime, coconut and mango are irresistible! I've never been to Jamaica, but when I eventually get there I hope they have food like this.
Start by cooking 1/2 cup of rice in 1 cup of coconut milk. I used Basmati rice and think its nutty flavor is just right for this dish. While it's simmering away you can assemble the rest of the salad.
You'll need a cup of cooked shrimp, medium size. I took the lazy easy route and thawed out some of the frozen stuff. Unfortunately I live in a land-locked state and don't have access to any fresh seafood that is worth a darn. Not that I'm bitter or anything.
Combine the shrimmp with 1 cup black beans, two chopped mangoes (mine yielded about 1 1/2 cups) and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.
Now, for the onions. I was not lazy with my onions! Instead, I got a little crazy and decided to do a quick-pickling. It's super fast and easy and adds a little sweetness and beautiful color to the onions while mellowing them out a bit. Just boil 2 cups water with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Slice one medium onion, add to the pot and simmer for about 3 minutes. After the slices cool, chop up 1/2 cup and add it to the rest of the salad ingredients.
Or just chop the onion and use it raw. It'll be good that way too.
Next add your cooked rice (after it has cooled down a bit) and give the whole mess a good stir.
Then add 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, the zest of one medium lime and 1/4 teaspoon allspice. Add salt to taste and give everything another good stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
The flavors in this salad are phenomenal! It tastes even better the next day, after the lime juice has a chance to permeate the rice and shrimp.
By the way, permeate is not a word I use on a regular basis. But it alwaysmakes me thing of the William Steig book Dr. DeSoto. Dr. DeSoto is a dentist, and there's a part in the story that talks about a treatment he has applied to a patient's teeth. He tells the patient to keep his mouth closed so the solution can "permeate the dentine." Why this particular phrase is still rattling around my brain after all these years is a mystery to me. It's probably taking up the space that would otherwise be used to remember the correct date of my only son's birthday.
Anyway...make this salad! Let the flavors permeate! And then eat it with your dentine! If possible, eat while sitting on a beach near a body of water. Wash it down with a fruity drink sporting an umbrella. And if you're not in Jamaica, close your eyes and pretend!