Shmoozing, laughing, and eating good food under a clear blue summer sky are what make bungalow colony brunches fun and enjoyable. Eggplant Parmesan, cheesy Italian baguettes, mushroom cheese quiche, and iced coffee latte, with caramel cheesecake for dessert, were some of the standard contributions. All of which sound delicious, smell divine, look gorgeous — but are completely out of the question for us, the dairy intolerant. When we offered to think up a surprise dish that morning, the other women eyed us cautiously and called after us, “Remember, we want good food!” Putting our heads together, we came up with this sushi-style salad. We tried to be inconspicuous as we placed our dish down at the end of the table. In the back of our minds, we figured we would serve the leftovers that night at supper. Everyone tasted it, and there was not a drop left over. Several people even wanted the recipe. We guess that’s what you call good food! The rice is baked instead of cooked, which means you can set the oven’s baking time and then not worry about it at all, and you’ll still wind up with rice that comes out soft and fluffy. Because the soybeans in the Tamari soy sauce are fermented, the condiment is tolerated well even by many people who have soy sensitivities. It can be used in any recipe that calls for soy sauce, and is often gluten free.
Check and rinse the rice and place in a 9- x 13-inch pan. Add the water. Bake at 385°F for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Dice the avocado and cucumbers and add to the cooked rice.
If you aren’t dealing with fish sensitivities, you can add kani or grilled salmon to this salad, and garnish with toasted nori (seaweed).
Mix the dressing together and pour over the rice and vegetables right before serving. Serve at room temperature.