It's very bright and fresh tasting - just like Spring!
Mandarin Orange and Cucumber Rice Salad with Orange Blossom Vinaigrette
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons orange blossom water
1 Tablespoon pomegranate vinegar (or other fruited vinegar)
1/2 cup liquid from canned mandarin oranges
1 shallot - minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 cup rice
1 shallot - diced finely
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced - about 1 cup
1 small can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments
Combine vinaigrette ingredients, stir well and let stand in the refrigerator for one hour to blend flavors.
Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat and add oil. Stir in shallot and rice. Stir well so that rice is well coated with oil. Add water, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover tightly and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat and cool completely. It's important to have the rice cool before adding the vinaigrette so that the rice will not absorb it all.
Toss orange segments and cucumber with vinaigrette and let stand - refrigerated - until rice is cool. When rice is fully cooled, combine with vinaigrette mixture and serve immediately.