I love me a rice salad. A bit ago, I cooked a Korean meal for us complete with Seafood and Green Onion Pancake (Pa Jun) and a Soft Tofu Stew (Soondoobu Jjigae). Bi Bim Bap is also a traditional Korean dish with rice, various barely-cooked vegetables and topped with an egg. I like to describe Bi Bim Bap as a rice salad dressed with a browned and runny egg. This is what attracted me so much to this recipe: the various textures, temperatures and flavors make for an elegant statement dish. Ottolenghi' rice salad is nutty from the rice and quinoa, crunchy and rich from two kinds of nuts, and has a surprising subtle sweetness courtesy of the cherries and browned onions. Finished with herbs and spicy arugula for brightness, it's a wonderful side dish to practically anything.
Notes: This recipe yields a staggering amount of food. As written, it is at least 8 if not 12 generous servings. Tart dried cherries may be cumbersome to acquire, so I think that dried cranberries or even dried apricot would be complementary substitutes. This is a wonderful dish to bring to a potluck or a holiday gathering because of its versatility and because it makes such a large amount.
Read More: The Shared Plenty (More)
Scant 1 cup/150 g wild rice
Scant 1 1/4 cup/220 g basmati rice
5 1/2 tbsp/80 ml olive oil
2/3 cup/100 g quinoa
6 1/2 tbsp/60 g almonds, skins on, coarsely chopped
7 tbsp/60 g pine nuts
1/4 cup/60 ml sunflower oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 3 cups/320 g)
1 cup/30 g flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup/20 g basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup/10 g tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped
2 cups/40 g arugula
2/3 cup/80 g dried sour cherries
1/4 cup/60 ml lemon juice, plus the grated zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and black pepper
Place the wild rice in a saucepan, cover with plenty of water, bring to a boil, and then turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 35 minutes, until the rice is cooked but still firm. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside to dry.
Mix the basmati rice with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place in a saucepan with 1 1/3 cups/ 330 ml of boiling water, cover, and cook over the lowest possible heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, place a tea towel over the pan, replace the lid, and set aside for 10 minutes. Uncover and allow to cool down completely.
Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and add the quinoa. Cook for 9 minutes, then drain into a fine sieve, refresh under cold water, and set aside.
Place the almonds and pine nuts in a small pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Transfer to a small plate as soon as the pine nuts begin to color and set aside.
Heat the sunflower oil in a large sauté pan and add the onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Cook over high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often, so that parts of the onion get crisp and others just soft. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Place all the grains in a large bowl along with the chopped herbs, arugula, fried onion, nuts, and sour cherries. Add the lemon juice and zest, the remaining 3 1/2 tbsp olive oil, the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some pepper. Mix well and set aside for at least 10 minutes before serving.