Asian Rice Salad with Edamame

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

For ages, buying rice in America was like walking into an ice cream store and finding they had only two flavors. The vanilla of the rice world is bleached white rice, which has had its nutrients strip-mined away. Its chocolate counterpart is taste-less short-grain brown rice, which gave rise to the phrase “hippie gruel.” Fortunately, many different types of rice are now available. Basmati, jasmine, sushi rice . . .  Forbidden Rice (Purple Rice), is a terrific choice for rice salads because of its nutty taste and firm texture.

2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups Forbidden rice, rinsed and drained
1 cup shelled edamame beans
1 cup peeled and thinly sliced diagonally celery
1 cup peeled and shredded carrot
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup thinly sliced diagonally
scallions, green and white parts

Dressing

2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup sesame oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

1 cup toasted cashews
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lightly toasted sesame seeds
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

In a medium pot, bring 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and return to a boil. Cover, decrease the heat, and simmer until tender,  20 to 25 minutes. Pour the rice onto a sheet pan and fluff with a fork to separate the grains and cool.

In another medium pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon salt and blanch the edamame until just tender, about 1 minute. Transfer to a colander, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

In a bowl combine the rice, celery, carrot, red pepper, and scallions. Prepare the dressing by whisking the vinegar, tamari, ginger, garlic, cayenne, sesame oil, toasted sesame oil, lime juice, salt, and maple syrup together. Toss the rice mixture with the dressing. Stir in the beans, cashews (reserve a few for garnish), cilantro, and basil. Top with the sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve in a salad bowl, garnished with cashews.

Cook's Note:  A brown and wild rice blend is a great substitute if Forbidden  rice isn’t available in your local store

Reprinted with permission from One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Patients and Their Friends Copyright © 2008 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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