Food Network has gotten out of hand in the past few years, I will admit. Sometimes there's more flash and showboating than actual quality cooking going on. But every once in awhile, there's still a gem of a recipe to be had. This one I picked up from Boy Meets Grill 3-4 years ago, and it's practically a staple in our house in the warmer months. This exotic little rice dish has a great mix of flavors and best of all - is good hot, warm, or room temperature. It really goes well with a lot of dishes, and is great paired with grilled food.
The textures going on in this salad are insane - creamy rice (thanks to that warm, almost sweet coconut milk) with crunchy cashews and green onions, and coconut bits to round everything out. The flavors are brilliant, a dish that hints at sweetness but is also so nutty and fresh-tasting. This is another one of those dishes that I find people raving over, and I never have leftovers. Try it next time you throw some fish or meat on the grill and you'll see why.Coconut Cashew Basmati Rice Salad
(from Bobby Flay)
3 Tbsp. peanut oil + 1 Tbsp. for the cashews (I like to use coconut oil)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 c. basmati rice, rinsed several times in cold water and drained well
Salt and freshly ground pepper (it is important to properly salt this dish! It's rather bland otherwise)
1/4 c. raw cashews, halved
2 c. unsweetened coconut milk
2 c. water
1/2 c. thinly sliced green onion
1/4 c. grated fresh coconut (optional)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro (optional)
Heat oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft. Add the drained rice, salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add the cashews and cook until lightly golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Place coconut milk and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the hot liquid to the rice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. When the rice is cooked, remove from the oven and fold in the green onion, and cilantro/coconut (if using). Spoon the rice onto a platter and garnish with the toasted cashews.