Let’s face it: rice is…well, it’s just rice. It’s not the most exciting ingredient. But what it lacks in flavour it makes up for in versatility, transforming from modest to extraordinary with a few extra steps. This is a modified version of Tyler Florence’s recipe: I used peanuts instead of cashews as that’s what I had around. He also calls for mint, but you could use cilantro or basil, too. I served this with lemon curry chicken, but it would go well with shrimp, pork or fish dishes.
1 c basmati rice
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and smashed w/ side of the knife
1/2 lb green beans
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 c cashews
1/4 c mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1 mango, peeled, pitted & chopped
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1. Put rice in a sauce pan with the ginger, 2 cups of water and 1 1/2 ts salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir, turn down the heat, cover and cook 12 minutes. (If serving cold, spread the rice on a baking sheet and bring to room temperature.) Discard ginger.
2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the beans. Fill a large bowl with ice water and add just enough salt so that you can taste it. Boil the beans for three minutes and then place them in the ice water for another minute or so to stop the cooking and maintain their bright green colour.
3. Place the mango, red onion, mint and cashews in a large bowl. Stir together with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add in the rice and beans, seasoning with the lemon juice. Re-season with salt & pepper if necessary.