A Gluten-Free Grain Salad: Ottolenghi’s Herbed Rice Salad

rice salad

As we head into the last month of summer, you’ve probably had your share of salads.  There’s the great synergy of delicious summer produce and a hot kitchen to make you want to throw something together quickly.  Sometimes, you might be looking for a little more texture, a little less lightness, a salad that might count as a light meal.  This is when a grain salad comes in.  This recipe is from one of my favorite chefs in the world, Yotam Ottolenghi, in the wonderful vegetarian cookbook, Plenty.  I included it at my recent class on global gluten-free cooking at Draeger’s Cooking School in San Mateo. It has two types of rice, with contrasting colors and textures, and an amazing world of herbs, vegetables and fruits. And to top it all off, there’s more flavor and texture with crushed peanuts, fried shallots and flaked coconut.  Don’t let summer pass you by without trying this recipe.   This is the salad you’ve been waiting for.

Herbed Rice Salad

Adapted from Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi

Time: 30 to 40 minutes

Yield: Serves 6


2/3 cup jasmine rice

1 tsp unsalted butter

1 pinch salt

1/2 cup water

1 cup loosely packed Thai basil

1 cup Thai black rice

1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into 2 inch long slices

2 tbsp mint leaves, roughly chopped

2/3 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 fresh red chile, seeded and finely chopped

grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 large mango or 2 smaller ones, cut roughly into 1-inch dice

1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped

2/3 cup flaked coconut (unsweetened)

2 tbsp peanut or canola oil

optional garnish 3/4 cup crisp-fried shallots (homemade or bought, available in Asian markets)


1.  Start by cooking the rice.

-Put the jasmine rice and butter in a small saucepan and place on a medium heat. Add a little salt, the water and half the Thai basil (keep the leaves attached to the stalk). Bring to the boil, then cover and cook on a slow simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard the basil. Spread out the rice on a flat tray to cool down.

-Cook the red or black rice in plenty of boiling water (as you would cook) for 20 minutes, or until it is cooked through. It will be al dente. Drain and and rinse under cold water in a colander to cool down.

2.  Meanwhile, pick off the leaves of the remaining basil and chop them up roughly. Place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the jasmine and red or black rice together with all the remaining ingredients, apart from the shallots, and stir just to mix; do not stir too much or the mango pieces will disintegrate. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Top with shallots, if desired.

Nutrition Info (for 6 servings):

426 cal, 58 g carb, 19 g fat, 8 g protein, 4 mg sodium, 6 g sugar

Thanks so much for coming by! If you’d like to cook with me, please visit http://www.Facebook.com/TheDoctorsSpicebox for my upcoming events and more.  My last class of the summer is coming up soon on 8/19, and it’s another wonderful menu: Spanish Summertime: Gazpacho and Tapas. There are only a few spots remaining so please register today! http://www.draegerscookingschool.com/event/2304/spanish-summertime-gazpacho–tapas-linda-shiue-md-with-palo-alto-medical-foundation

Do you have a favorite grain salad? Please share in the comments!