Sunday, June 17, 2007

Purple Jasmine Rice
This colorful sticky rice from Thailand, with its rich taste and aesthetic appeal is used primarily for feasts and celebrations. Grown by the Phakao Cooperative, "using traditional methods, chemical fertilizers and pesticides have been replaced with organic fertilizers and natural plant extracts to produce a premium, quality, environmentally friendly rice."

The purple rice is mixed with naturally perfumed White Jasmine rice to give it an ideal texture while retaining its vibrant purple color and sweet flavor. The rice is quick cooking, using a ratio of 1 1/2 times the amount of water to rice. Simply bring the rinsed rice and water to a boil, stir, cover and lower heat to a simmer until all liquid has been absorbed. Using a pot with a glass cover certainly facilitates cooking rice.

While the rice was simmering away, I sautéed half a diced sweet onion; 3 small yellow squash, sliced; 1 sliced jalepeño, seeds removed, in a little olive oil. I gave those veggies a head start and as the squash approached crisp/tender, added 3 radishes, cut into wedges; and 3 sliced green onions,white and lower portions of the green part only. Meanwhile, I defrosted a cup of shelled edamame and tossed those in after the radishes and green onions. Off heat, I tossed the entire sauté with 2 TBS of tamari, freshly ground pepper and sprinkled on a bit of freshly minced cilantro. The rice was ready and so was I.

Almost any vegetable combination will work for a quick dish like this. Start the aromatics first, then add the items that require more cooking, leaving the delicate items for last. Season it to taste with a tahini dressing, peanut sauce, oil and sherry vinegar, the possibilities are endless. A dash or two of tamari, with a whisper of toasted sesame oil is another fine finish.

Light luncheon rice bowl - quick and easy.

Check out purple jasmine rice along with red quinoa and other organic grains to add variety to mealtime.

Till next time . . . keep on cooking.

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