Weather does not affect my appetite. If ice cream is good enough, I'll eat it in a blizzard; if the soup is something special, I'll drink it in the desert sun. This makes me peculiar, I know, because it's getting to be that time of year when guests approach the table warily, moaning that it's too hot to eat.
No one complains, though, when the main course is salad, especially this one, which, combining rice, yogurt and nuts, qualifies as a complete meal. When shopping for pineapple, choose a firm one that gives off a light, sweet aroma, but doesn't leak juice all over your hands.
SUPPER SALAD OF FRUIT AND RICE
1 large pineapple
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup water chestnuts, chopped
12 Chinese pea pods
Sliced banana, seedless grapes, sliced fresh peaches, optional
Cut pineapple in half. Carve out fruit in chunks and place in large bowl. Set aside pineapple shells.
To pineapple chunks add brown rice, almonds, raisins, coconut, water chestnuts and pea pods. Add banana, grapes and peaches. Toss.
Add Ginger-Lime Dressing and toss again until well-coated. Fill reserved pineapple shells with fruit-rice mixture. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 4 servings.
3/4 cup yogurt, or 6 tablespoons yogurt and 6 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon grated lime peel
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, minced
Combine yogurt, lime juice, lime peel, ginger and cilantro.
\o7 Shaw is free-lance writer in Los Angeles. \f7