For many years, rice in my universe was a sponge-like bed upon which to pile a fragrant stir fry or a punishingly spicy curry. And I still love plain white rice for that purpose. But when I decided to start eating more whole grains, I discovered that there is a whole 'nother world of rice out there. Wild red, brown and black rice all with health benefits and distinct flavors. And it was through my whole grain recipe expedition that I realized something: there are healthy rice recipes out there that produce results so satisfying that rice can become a stand alone lunch or an exciting side dish - one that you wouldn't dare spoil by mixing with another item on your plate. One of my all-time favorite rice recipes that falls into that camp is this high protein one right here. Rice is cooked in loads of vegetable broth to infuse a nice flavor and moist texture. Add in red bell peppers, cashews and green onions and now it is getting interesting. Top it off with a garlic-rice vinegar-sesame oil dressing and you have something that you cannot get enough of. And something that, perhaps, will elicit a whole new respect for rice.
Asian Wild Rice Salad With Cashews, Red Peppers And Scallions
1 c uncooked wild rice
4 c vegetable broth
3 T olive oil
1 c + 1/2 c red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 c cashews, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, sliced
- and for the dressing
3 T rice vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t salt
freshly ground black pepper
In a strainer, rinse wild rice under cool running water and drain well.
In a saucepan, bring rice and broth to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 50 minutes or until rice is tender. Drain excess liquid and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat 3 T olive oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Add cashews and green onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, until cashews begin to brown. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine rice and vegetable mixture.
To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl.
Pour vinaigrette over rice salad and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
Source: Adapted from the LA Times