Thursday, June 4, 2009

Citrus Rice Salad

Citrus Rice Salad
Ever since having this salad at my Pop's house last summer I've had it on my mind to make it again. I had never had a salad quite like it before and loved it! It's so unique and refreshing. I love the combination of tart {and slightly bitter} citrus fruit with salty Parmesan and chopped nuts - all mixed with fluffy white rice. I also love that this dish is so versatile. Citrus fruit is available in most places year round, and you can really use any combination of citrus you'd like - oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, clementines, limes, lemons...you name it. It also works very well with any seasonal menu - it's as delicious served alongside a cozy, fall roasted chicken dinner as it is alongside grilled chicken in the summer.
Make Dressing
To make the salad, begin by measuring out 2 cups of white rice {or brown, if you prefer} into a medium saucepan. Fill the pot with salted water, and simmer, just as you would when cooking pasta, until the rice is tender - about 10-15 minutes {brown rice will take about double that time}.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad, beginning with the dressing. For that you'll add 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed citrus juice {I used orange juice, but lemon, lime, or any other citrus juice would work too}, 2 tablespoons citrus zest {again, I used orange} , a 1/2 cup olive oil, and 1 tablespoon agave nectar to a blender. Season with salt and pepper, and blend until the dressing is emulsified. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning, or the amount of citrus juice as desired.
Supreme Citrus Fruit
Next, prepare 1 cup of chopped citrus by removing the segments {supreme}, and cutting them into bite-sized pieces.
Orange & Grapefruit
Once again, you can use the citrus fruit of your choice here - I used an orange, and a small pink grapefruit. Place the chopped fruit in a bowl,
Prep Red Onion & Mint
and add to it a 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion, and a 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint. When the rice is done cooking, drain it, then rinse under cool water, and drain again.
Add Dressing
Transfer the rice to a mixing bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the dressing and toss to coat the grains.
Citrus Rice Salad
Gently stir in the chopped citrus, onion, and mint. Serve at room temperature, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped nuts {if desired}. To make ahead: The salad can be refrigerated for up to a day. Before serving, bring the salad back up to room temperature.
If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy - Squash & Red Pepper Pilaf | Spring Vegetable Risotto | Black Bean, Chicken & Rice Bowl with Apple Salsa | Perfect Brown Rice

Citrus Rice Salad

{printable recipe}
Yields: 4-8 servings
Adapted from Mark Bittman, via the New York Times, July 30, 2008

ingredients:
2 cups white, or brown rice
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed citrus juice {any citrus fruit you'd like}
2 tablespoons grated citrus zest
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 cup chopped citrus fruit
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
chopped almonds or pecans {optional}

method:
Add the rice to a medium saucepan and fill with salted water. Cook the rice as you would pasta, until it's just tender {white rice will take about 10-15 minutes, brown rice will take about twice that}. When the rice is done, drain, rinse with cool water, and drain again.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by adding the olive oil, citrus juice, zest, and agave to a blender. Season with salt and pepper, and blend until emulsified {less than a minute}. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning, or amount of citrus juice as desired.

Transfer the rice to a mixing bowl and fluff with a fork. Add the dressing and toss to coat the rice grains. Gently stir in the chopped citrus, onion, and mint. Serve, garnished with grated Parmesan and chopped nuts.

Note: The salad can be refrigerated for up to a day. Before serving, bring the salad back up to room temperature.

5 comments:

Mayra said...

Wow. That looks wonderful and SO EASY! I'm going to try this one. It looks pretty foolproof, which is great for me! haha

Anonymous said...

Hey

This looks like a great receipe for vegans too, but I'm perplexed with the way you cook the rice.

To make it fluffy, we cook it with a rice cooker and add enough water to cover only 2/3 of your palm (face down) when placed on top of the rice.

Otherwise, if you don't have a rice cooker, put it in a pot, same 2/3 of water as above then put on high heat until it boils then lower the heat until small. Wait for about another 10mins of so and you'll see the rice rise. Do not stir the rice at anytime you're cooking it. Rice has a high starch content and you'll break it up causing the rice to go goey. You can take a fork to try whether its cooked. If not, put the lid back and cook for another 5mins or so.

Best to use a non stick pot and one with a see thru cover.

kate said...

I have never cooked rice this way. I followed the recipe & it worked very well.
Typically, I cook rice similar to your technique. But, this way worked very well & was so easy!

Anonymous said...

hey kate thanks for the reply. Im from asia and we always thought its odd that rice was cooked that way in the west.

:)

Beth said...

I've been cooking brown rice for over 30 years and had never heard of this method. I tried it today and am reallly happy with it! The rice is light and fluffy, theres no darker brown bit at the bottom... Really nice.
I used your recipe for the saladaswell, except that i cut the oil in half and added the juice of one limeto the 3 T of o.j. Along with a dash of tamari. I served it with baked tofu with a honey lemon glaze and some fresh spinach. Delicious!

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