Found several interesting looking rice salads in the NY Times on July 30, 2008 by Mark Bittman (the minimalist). He says rice salads are among the few salads that don't deteriorate after the dressing is added, so they can be dressed minutes or hours ahead. He recommends that you cook the rice a bit in advance, and dress it before it gets too cold. He also recommends that you cook the rice like a pasta, in abundant salted water (for between 15 and 45 minutes, depending on the rice) and then drain it and dress it when the rice is cool enough to handle. Cooking time is for white rice.