We can’t start chatting about this delicious cilantro rice salad without getting into genetics. Yes, cilantro is a controversial herb for good reason: we humans have a genetic disposition determining our cilantro experience. Some of us enjoy its lemony freshness, while others find its flavor uterrly identical to that of soap. Unlike blue cheese or kale or pine nuts, cilantro is not an acquired taste.
Those whose tastebuds insist on such prejudice have joined together on this wacky world web to create I Hate Cilantro.com. Really, they are an anti-cilantro community; I’m trying not to take it personally.
I picked up this gorgeous grafitti eggplant to accompany a bunch of cilantro and basmati dish. It’s that time of the month when we’re trying to use up all those stock items in our pantry and freezer. And we always have bags of brown and white basmati. We voted on brown tonight, knowing it was better for us and could justify brownie baking later in the evening. If you’re not into brown rice, a textured rice salad like this one really takes rice to another level. This recipe involves cumin and coriander seeds—ingredients I always keep around for my Indian cuisine nights. Since coriander seeds, however, are cilantro infants, I would be curious how the cilantro-haters tolerate this tasty seed?
You’ll find this lovely rice photographed alongside our meat/meatless mains: truly tasty grilled dishes on our (stunning cobalt blue) 12″ cast-iron grill pan.
Warm Herbed Coriander Rice Salad
from Gourmet, serves 4
- 1 cup long-grain brown basmati rice, rinsed well
- 1 3/4 cups cold water (use low-sodium chicken broth instead)
- 3 tablespoons olive/vegetable oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, slightly crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, slightly crushed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (on your microplane!)
- 2 medium zucchini (1 1/4 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed herbs such as cilantro, parsley, and mint (just used cilantro here)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup pecans (2 ounces), toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
Bring rice and water to a boil with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Let stand, covered, 10 minutes.
While rice is standing, cook coriander and cumin seeds in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and a shade darker, 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until zucchini is crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Toss zucchini mixture with rice, herbs, lemon juice, pecans, and salt and pepper to taste.