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Zanne's World-Famous Rice Salad

(recipe, Zanne Miller)


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Introduction

Rice, like pasta, is a good base for many different summer side dishes — and great for a gluten-allergic guest. I usually begin with the rice and the oil and toss in whatever sounds or looks good at the moment; this recipe (appropriated from my friend Michelle) is just one of the variations I like. Because both the sesame oil and the almonds can be allergens, when I bring this salad to a party I put a little card listing the ingredients next to it on the buffet table.

Ingredients

    Salad
    1. 2 cups white or brown basmati rice
    2. ¼ cup whole almonds
    3. 1 medium eggplant or large red bell pepper, roasted and cut into small slices
    4. 1 pt. red or yellow cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
    5. 1 small handful fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (cut into thin strips)
    Dressing
    1. 3 Tbsp. sesame oil
    2. 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    3. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Steps

    1. Cook the rice, then chill it in the refrigerator.
    2. When the rice is cool, toss it with the almonds, eggplant or pepper, cherry tomatoes, and basil leaves.
    3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and, just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.