Saturday, September 15, 2007
Wild Rice and Broad Bean Salad
Two rice dish posts back to back. This after I made a pact with the husband to go low-carb for a little while to get rid of the love handles that have made our respective midriffs their home over winter. Well, it is Spring and spring being the time for new beginnings is not unlike New Year- sometimes a time for failed resolutions.
To redeem myself somewhat, I try and enjoy my carb quota in the form of healthy(ish), light(ish) salads. This simple salad is defined by two beautiful things- wild rice and broad (fava) beans. I have never prepared a dish using fresh broad beans before. I've always used tinned beans which have always gone in soups. However, Haalo's informative and very well-photographed entry to Weekend Herb Blogging a couple of weeks ago inspired me to make my acquaintance with these underrated gems in a pod. Check out her blog Cook (Almost) Anything at Least Once for practical tips on preparing broad beans and her delectable bruschetta recipe.
As for wild rice, I have always loved it. Used in salads, stuffing or just mixed with plain rice as a side dish, it always makes a statement in a subtle way. It has a nuttiness that complements most ingredients without upstaging them, the firm texture it presents is usually a nice surprise. Wild rice (Zizania palustris L) is not technically classified as rice, although it has been used as grain food since prehistoric times. Wild rice is native to North America and has long been a staple for Native Americans not only as a food item but also as a feature in spiritual ceremonies.
No special methods are required to prepare this grain, cook as you would ordinary white rice. In my dishes, I usually use a proportion of 3 parts white rice, 1 part wild rice and then pop the mix in the rice cooker with water equal the total amount of the combined rice. I do like the wild rice quite firm to the bite as it tastes nuttier that way.
To prepare this salad:
3/4 c white rice
1/4 c wild rice
1 c prepared broad beans
rind from 1 orange
1/4c chopped mint
For the dressing:
4 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp minced garlic
2Tbsp orange juice
2Tbsp Lemon juice
salt and pepper
If using a rice cooker, cook the combined white rice and wild rice in 1 c of water. Alternatively, the combined rice can be cooked pot with 1 c of water. Bring to a rapid boil. Then turn the heat down to low and simmer until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff up the rice with a fork soon after cooking and let cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by mixing together the oil, garlic and juices.
In a bowl, mix the cooked rice, broad beans, mint and orange rind in a bowl. Pour the dressing in, add some salt and pepper and gently toss. Let sit for about an hour to let the flavours infuse.
This is lovely served with barbecued lamb cutlets.
This is my first entry to Weekend Herb Blogging. Being new to blogging, this is one of the first events I discovered which seem to always have a fabulous line-up. Founded by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen , the weekly offering is always informative and full of delicious dishes. I hope my contribution is up to scratch :-) Check out the rest of the dishes at Monday's round-up in Katerina's Daily Unadventures in Cooking.