By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN
I found enough basmati rice, both brown and white, to see us through a few weeks’ worth of dinners (so look for more rice recipes in future weeks). I used up the brown basmati first. Brown basmati is lighter and more delicate, and has a nuttier flavor, than regular brown rice. It works as a side dish, but I prefer to put it at the center of the plate in salads, gratins, stir-fries and dirty rice (beans and rice). Brown basmati isn’t a traditional ingredient in many of this week’s dishes, but it seemed very much at home.
Brown Basmati Rice Salad With Roasted Poblanos and Cumin Vinaigrette
Roasted poblano chiles bring some kick, and vitamin C, to this colorful Southwestern rice salad.
3 cups cooked brown basmati rice (1 cup uncooked)
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
1 red pepper, cut in small dice
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or 1 bunch green scallions, sliced thin
1 poblano pepper, roasted, seeded and cut in small dice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lightly toasted pine nuts
For the dressing:
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 small garlic clove, minced or puréed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
To cook brown basmati rice, rinse the rice and, if you have time, soak it for 30 minutes just covered in water. (This optional step helps prevent the grains from breaking during cooking.) Drain, and combine 1 cup rice with 2 cups water and salt to taste (I use 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 35 to 40 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from the heat, remove the lid and place a kitchen towel over the pot. Replace the lid, and allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.
1. Place the rice in a large bowl. Steam the sugar snap peas for three minutes until crisp-tender. Refresh with cold water, and drain on a kitchen towel or paper towels. Cut the beans in half, and add to the rice with the remaining salad ingredients, except the pine nuts.
2. Whisk together the vinegar, lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, garlic, mustard and ground cumin. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Toss with the rice salad. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top, and serve.
Yield: Serves four to six.
Advance preparation: You can prepare the salad mixture up to a day ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. Don’t toss with the dressing until shortly before serving. As long as you leave the snap peas out, you also can toss the mixture with the dressing up to a day ahead; add the snap peas shortly before serving. The rice will be even more flavorful after it marinates in the dressing.
Nutritional information per serving (based on four main dish servings): 382 calories; 21 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 43 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 39 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 7 grams protein
Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at martha-rose-shulman.com.