Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spring Rice Salad With Lemon-Dill Dressing

Spring Rice Salad With Lemon-Dill Dressing
1 cup long-grain white rice or basmati rice
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cut lengthwise into slices 1/4
inch thick
1/2 pound sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges for garnish
Fresh dill sprigs for garnish
If using basmati rice, rinse well and drain.
In a heavy saucepan bring the vegetable stock or water to a boil and add salt. Slowly add the rice, reduce the heat to low and cover, and cook, without stirring for 20 minutes, do not remove the cover. After 20 minutes, uncover to see if the rice is tender and the water is absorbed. If not re-cover and and cook a few minutes longer until the rice is done. Remove from the heat, fluff the grains with a fork, and transfer to a bowl to cool.
Bring a saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add salt to a taste, the fennel, the peas, and blanch for two minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a bowl and let cool. Add the asparagus to the same water and simmer just until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and let cool with other vegetables.
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, dill, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooled rice and vegetables and toss together.
Place the salad in a bowl or on a platter and garnish with lemon wedges and dill sprigs. Serves 6 to 8
TIP* This salad is versatile as you can substitute green beans, broccoli, zucchini, or even fresh peas if any of the vegetables are not available at your market.

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