Before we take off for a passage, especially if it's our first one after a long time away from sailing, I usually make a passage soup. It allows us to have a prepared meal all ready to eat without my having to spend much time below in the galley.
It's been so hot in Adelaide lately, the last thing I wanted to make or eat was hot soup. Instead, I made a Passage Salad in advance this time. I cooked extra rice and chicken for dinner the last night and used it as the start for a Nine of Cups favorite, Rice Salad. An old friend, Joanne on Rusty Bucket, turned me onto this salad way back in the Caribbean and we've been enjoying (and modifying) it ever since. We had it for lunch for the last couple of days and though we were feeling absolutely fine on the calm Gulf of St. Vincent waters, it was still nice to have the meal ready and not have to prepare anything.
The best thing about this salad is its versatility. You can use it as a side or a main. It can be totally vegetarian or even vegan for that matter. You can add, eliminate and substitute to your heart's content and it still turns out tasting gourmet.
Here's the basic salad with some options to try …
- 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 2 cups cooked rice, cooled (white rice, brown rice, your favorite kind of rice)
- ½ c kalamata olives
- ½ onion, chopped fine
- ½ green/red pepper chopped
- 1 ripe tomato, chopped
- 2 chicken breast halves, cooked, cooled and cubed
- 1 tbsp capers
- ½ c feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ c balsamic vinaigrette, Italian or Greek salad dressing (add more or less to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients. Chill and serve.