Thursday, 24 November 2011

Wild Rice, Broad Bean and Artichoke Salad

It's that time of year when the Christmas events and parties begin to consume your every weekend. The alcohol can be harder to say no to during the festive season but good healthy food will help some
of the balance and all the woman folk (and some fella's) will appreciate your humble efforts!

Try this wonderful salad at your next Christmas event. It's got this wonderful earthy flavour of the wild rice, the waxy texture of the broad beans, the soft texture of the artichokes, and the crunch of the snow peas. My classic favourite flavour combination sings a sweet melody in this dish. Lemon and lime with salt and olive oil. Don't be fool by simplicity, the flavour works with everything else going on in this dish. I just love the fluo green colour of the broad beans contrasting with the black of the wild rice. Visually this salad is gorgeous.

Brown rice is quite underestimated as a wonderful healthfood. Brown and white rice have similar number of calories, carbohydrates and protein. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. Several vitamins and dietary minerals are lost in this removal and the subsequent polishing process. A part of these missing nutrients, such as vitamin b1, vitamin b3 and iron are sometimes added back into the white rice making it "enriched". One mineral not added back into white rice is magnesium; one cup (195 g) of cooked long grain brown rice contains 84 mg of magnesium while one cup of white rice contains 19 mg. When the bran layer is removed to make white rice, the oil in the bran is also removed. Rice bran oil may help lower LDL cholesterol. Among other key sources of nutrition lost are small amounts of fatty acids and fiber.

I make this dish in twenty minutes - you can prep everything while the rice cooks!

Makes enough for 4 people as a main mean or 8 as an accompaniment dish

1 cup long grain brown rice
¼ cup wild rice
2 cups filter water
2 cups broad beans (40 pods) you can use edamame beans (fresh soya beans)
2 cups snow peas, sliced
½ cup pinenuts, toasted or raw
10 artichokes, sliced into quarters or sixth

2 lemon, juiced (approx ½ cup)
2 limes, juiced (approx ¼ cup)
1-2 tsp good salt (to your taste)
½ olive oil

Bring the rice (both) to the boil (takes approximately 5 minutes) then boil for 5 minutes. Turn to a low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off and allow to rice 'steep' for a further 5 minutes. Cool in filtered water, strain and place aside.

While rice is cooking, shell the broad beans and place in steamer and steam 1-2 minutes (they don't take long) until they are fluo green! Then cool in filtered water. Once cool, peel the outer (tough) of the skin off. To do this split at the seam end and 'pop' the bright green bean out!

Slice the artichokes and place aside.

Steam the Snow peas for 1-2 minutes or until bright green and crunchy. Cool in filtered water, then slice on an angle into thing strips.

Combine ingredients for the dressing and finally combine all ingredients in a bowl, add the dressing and toss.


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