A client was having guests over for dinner, and one of them followed a gluten-free diet. When my client asked if I had a good rice salad recipe, I quickly said yes, thinking I could easily change my Curried Cous Cous Salad recipe to be made with rice.
I served the rice version of this dish with grilled salmon, a mango salsa, and a big green salad, and my clients—and their gluten-free friend—both said it was delicious.
Of course, it wasn’t as easy as simply substituting the same measurement of rice for the cous cous in that recipe, however. Since it turned out so well for my clients’ dinner, I thought I’d share the modified recipe with you.
If you’ve tried both versions, please let me know what you think about them—how you think they compare, and which you like better.
Curried Rice and Bell Pepper Salad
1 cup rice — I prefer short grain brown rice for a nutty flavor and more texture,
but you may use any type of rice you prefer
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1¾ cup water
¼ cup plain yogurt
¼ cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Zest of one orange, minced
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
½ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup dried currants
¼ cup blanched, slivered almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup small-diced red onion
1 each yellow and orange bell peppers, diced
½ red bell pepper, diced
Place rice, butter and water in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from the heat (keeping the lid on), and let the rice continue to steam for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Whisk together yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, orange zest, orange juice, salt, and pepper.
Tip: Be careful when adding curry and tumeric. Not all curries have the same spice combination and some can taste bitter. I prefer Morton & Bassett out of San Francisco. Taste as you go, and remember that the flavor of the dressing will develop as it rests.
Pour dressing over the fluffed rice and mix well with a fork. Add the peppers, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions. Mix well and taste for seasonings.
Note: You might not need all of the dressing. Add half, then the remaining ingredients, then mix and taste. Use more dressing as needed.
Serve at room temperature.