Vacation is coming! It's true. I'm headed to the mountains with my two life-long besties, husbands in tow. For three gals that couldn't be much more different in adult life, there is an intangible something that makes it feel like we haven't been apart a day, even when it's been a few years. Isn't that wonderful how that works in life? Those relationships are rare, so I count mine as pretty special.
And to make it all the better, we all three love to cook and eat, so you can better there is some bites (and sips) in store. The menu is filled with all kinds of grilling and cocktail goodness, but we have to have some standby sides on tap too.
One of the girls is vegetarian and loves fruit, so I was trying to come up with a few hearty salads to have on hand. I recently tried out this rice salad from Plenty and man it is good! This cookbook has gotten me so inspired to try new veggie recipes. This one from the grains chapter will be perfect as a dinnertime side and the leftovers will make for great snacking fare on the mountain.
Mango and Coconut Rice Salad
2/3 cups brown jasmine rice
1 cup black rice
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons mint leaves, roughly chopped
2/3 cup basil leaves, roughly choppped
2/3 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, minced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
2/3 cup flaked coconut
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 mangos, chopped
1 head green leaf lettuce
Prepare jasmine rice according to package instructions. Spread on a baking sheet to cool. Separately prepare black rice and allow to cool.
Toss cooked jasmine and black rice together with red bell pepper, basil, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno, lemon, peanuts, coconut and peanut oil. Gently fold in mangos, taking care not to overstir (they'll fall apart).
Serve over lettuce and enjoy!
Recipe inspired by Yottam Ottolenghi