Pistachio, pomegranate & herby rice

We’ve well and truly hit BBQ season. I love the whole shabang, I like making plates and bowls of food that people can dip into, and I enjoy the consideration process about which textures and tastes will mix and match the best. When done right BBQ’s are food festivals. They bring people together in the sunshine to enjoy old classics mixed with new tinkerings and tastes.

This salad is a perfect addition to any BBQ spread. It’s more impressive and interesting than your average rice. The fruity sweetness from pomegranate and lemon works really well with the salty crunchy nuts, making it pretty god damn moreish. I wouldn’t worry what to match this one with, it goes with fish, meat or just a bit of green salad. If you’re lucky you might have enough left after guests to just enjoy a simple bowl on it’s own the next day.

rice salad_4

Weights and measures

You don’t need to worry about following specifics too firmly on this kind of thing. It’s nice to prepare for people coming with music on and a feeling of freedom in the kitchen, rather than the prescriptive panic of half measures and exacting teaspoons.

Roughly speaking you need the following for 6 servings:

  • 500g cooked basmati and wild rice (about 180 grams pre cooked weight)
  • 2 generous tablespoons pomegranate seeds (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
  • 2 generous tablespoons of crushed pistachios (plus extra to sprinkle on top)
  • 2 big handfuls chopped mint
  • 2 big handfuls of chopped basil
  • Juice from a lemon
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

rice salad_1

How to make:

  1. Cook your basmati and wild rice according the instructions. Make sure you don’t overcook it. The basmati should be soft and fluffy rather than soggy. Leave it to thoroughly drain and cool before you mix in the other ingredients.
  2. Add the fruit, nuts and herbs, give it a good mix
  3. Mix the lemon and oil together separately, then add to the rice dish. You might not need all the oil suggested, just add half, some salt and pepper and taste first. You can tweak to add more lemon, more oil and more seasoning to your own tastes.
  4. Cover until you’re ready to serve. Make sure this doesn’t go to the table straight from the fridge, room temperature is best alongside your hot BBQ food.
  5.  Before you serve, sprinkle with more pomegranates and nuts

Enjoy xx

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