My son invited me over for dinner tonight, and asked me bring a fruit salad and a "rice dish". I remembered one I'd seen recently, so I went to the Bulk Barn and got everything required.
441. Four Grain Rice Salad
I was able to get wild rice and pearl barley in bulk, but I couldn't locate red rice. I finally found it in the grocery store, but I surely didn't need a huge $7 bag of the stuff, so I substituted basmati rice instead. I put all the rice & barley in a pot, along with a bulb of garlic (unpeeled) and the stalks from a small bunch of mint and parsley (picked from the garden). I covered it all with water and brought it to a boil, then let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
I was supposed to save the cooking water but of course I strained the cooked rice in the sink, so I put a bit more water in the pot and brought it back to the boil. I placed the strainer over the water, covered it with some foil, and let it steam for another 10 minutes before letting it cool. In a small bowl, I squeezed out the garlic cloves and mashed them, then added the chopped herbs, juice of a lemon and olive oil. Once the rice was cool, I mixed the garlic & herbs through and seasoned with salt and pepper.
The last step was to fry some fennel & cumin seeds in a bit of oil, then add some rolled oats and toast until golden. I stirred half of this through the rice, and put the rest aside to sprinkle over at the last minute.
I found this salad quite bland, surprisingly, especially with the amount of garlic involved. I suppose I should have checked the seasoning again prior to serving, as the rice seemed to have soaked up the dressing. I added a bit more salt, pepper & lemon juice to my portion and that brought it up a notch. I enjoyed the chewiness of the oats and wild rice but I'm not sure other guests did. This type of dish is not up everyone's alley, but it would be great at a gathering of health conscious people. I'm glad I brought it, because apart from the chicken served, the only other option was a Caesar salad (full of dairy).