Friday, June 1, 2012

NomNom: Rice Salad w/Tomato, Parmesan, and Basil

Basil is one of my favorite herbs to use during the summer. I love the earthy smell to it and how much of a herb-y flavor profile it adds to dishes. Growing my own basil means that pesto is heavy on rotation and Caprese salad (my faaaavorite summer salad) is also made frequently. If there's a recipe that uses basil, I'm all over that piece.

Perhaps it's because the ingredients involved reminded me of a Caprese salad that really got my intrigued but truth be told, I was a bit skeptic at how this recipe would taste when I first came across it. Being Asian, I'm used to having my rice unadorned and pretty much keeping it simple.

But I'm a curious one. I like to try new things and rarely will I say no.Unless it involves snakes.

So basically I found another dish to add to my favorite recipe list. This dish is the perfect summer recipe because it has light and bright flavors that shine through with each bite. The nutty Parmesan cheese mixed in with the freshness of the tomatoes and basil is prominent through and through, especially since a heavy dressing isn't involved. It's a simple (yay!), delicious dish involving healthy ingredients that is filling enough to eat as main dish OR could be eaten as side dish. I think I just gave you a two for one deal.

What more could you ask for?

Have a great weekend.

Ingredients (Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Light and Healthy 2012)
1 1/4 C long-grain white rice
salt and pepper
1 tomato, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
1/.4 cup shredded basil
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
5 teaspoons extra virgin oil

1. Bring 3 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt and boil, stirring occasionally, until rice is just tender, 9-12 minutes. Drain rice well, spread on rimmed baking sheet, and let coll to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

2. Toss cooled rice, tomato, Parmesan, and basil together in large bowl. Whisk vinegar, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in small bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in oil. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

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