Monday, September 24, 2007

Red Rice Salad

Recently, Heidi Swanson posted a fabulous Indonesian red rice salad recipe that she adapted from Robin Asbell's great grain book, New Whole Grains Cookbook.

When I read Heidi's post, along with her dramatic shot of the finished dish (nothing like the one above), I knew it was the perfect vehicle for the package of red Himalayan rice loitering in my staples cupboard. It's such a simple preparation, with common ingredients, that it was a delight to whip together. Heidi cautions to make this when you're not pressed for time as there is some chopping involved, but the chopping isn't that big an endeavor and I found I had the veggies and sauce ingredients ready for the pot in no time at all.

I'm not going to list all of the ingredients, as Heidi has done such a super job of that and her website has the added benefit of allowing you to switch to a print version of the recipe. I strongly urge you to subscribe to her postings as the images alone are magic. But beyond that, Heidi has wonderful treatments for whole foods that really tweak our imaginations when it comes to food prep and she offers simple procedures with good explanations for cooks at all levels.

This recipe calls for soy sauce. I used tamari instead of soy and as I added it to the sauté pan with the coconut milk and molasses, I chuckled to see the bright orange and green of the carrots and beans quickly turn to a very blah shade of brown. It brought to mind the constant moaning and groaning from the food designer in Nevada Verde Barr's fun novel, Last Bite. He seemed to constantly be faced with the challenge of making brown food look good for the TV cameras.

The myriad of flavors and textures in this dish makes it a surefire palate pleaser. Mine has a little extra kick, besides the hot chili pepper, I added the remnants of a little red curry paste that was lingering in the freezer - a scant teaspoon full. It added just the right amount of kick to assure there is nothing blah tasting about this red rice salad.

Till next time . . . keep on cooking.

No comments: