In the last few years pasta salads have become very chic. They are nothing
like the old standby, Macaroni Salad. Instead, they lend themselves to
endless possibilities and are a fascination to the creative cook. I feel
that the next infatuation will be with Rice Salads. Every culture has
its rice dish and particular flavorings. They are colorful and open to
2 c. Basmati rice, washed and drained in a strainer
2 T. safflower oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
One-inch piece of fresh gingerroot, grated
Two-inch piece cinnamon stick
1/2 t. paprika
2 green cardamons
1 t. turmeric
1 t. garam masala (see p. 161 )
1 t. cumin seeds
1-1/2 t. salt (opt.)
3-1/2 c. water or stock, boiling
2 c. cauliflowerettes, lightly steamed
1-1/2 c. tiny frozen peas, rinsed in cold water, drained
1 red pepper, julienned
Chopped unsalted peanuts, optional
1/2 c. cold-pressed safflower oil
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1 green chili
Fresh cilantro to taste
1. Saute onion and garlic in oil until golden. Add rice, ginger and all
spices. Stir until rice is well-coated and looks opaque.
2. Add boiling water or stock, cover and simmer gently until all liquid
is absorbed and the rice is cooked.. Toward the end very gently stir with
a fork. Dump into a large bowl.
3. Make dressing in the processor, processing with steel blade until well
combined. Add immediately to hot rice. Fork-toss.
4. When rice is at room temperature, add cauliflowerettes, peas and red
pepper. If desired, add peanuts. Serve at room temperature for best flavor.
This tastes even better the next day after the flavors have melded. If
it has been refrigerated, bring back to room temperature before serving.