Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Apricot Rice Salad

Book CoverLast week, I went to a lecture given by Martha Hall Foose, author of this week's Cook the Book selection, Screen Doors and Sweet Tea. She strode up to the podium in dusty Keds, white ankle socks, and the same checkered dress she is wearing on the book jacket: the picture of down-home Southern charm. I couldn't help but imagine her in the kitchen, standing over a hot skillet frying up a country steak, or bending down to pull a pan of cornbread sticks out of the oven.

Which is only partly accurate.

Over the course of her hour-long talk, Martha made sure to emphasize that as much as her cooking is rooted in the historic traditions of the Delta, it is also influenced by the diverse and international flavors of contemporary Mississippi. Flavors like cumin, coriander, and cardamom, all of which are present in today's recipe for Apricot Rice Salad.

Enlivened with fresh-squeezed orange juice and studded with dried dates, apricots, raisins, and cherries, this salad would make a lovely, light lunch served with wedges of fresh melon and a tall glass of—what else?—sweet tea.

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