Friday, 25 July 2008
Tomato, basil and rice salad
The key to this simple salad, which I got from a French friend several years ago, is frying the onion well as it providea a really flavourful base to the rice. Frugal and delicious.
3 tbsp olive oil + extra if needed
1 medium to large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
200ml basmati rice (measured in a jug)
4-5 medium-sized, ripe tomatoes
2-3 heaped tbsp basil, tarragon or parsley leaves
Red or white wine vinegar to taste
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the chopped onion and fry over a medium heat for about 5-6 minutes until the edges of the onion are beginning to turn dark brown. Tip in the rice, stir then add the water and stir again. Bring to the boil, put a lid on the pan, turn the heat down and cook until the water has been absorbed (12-15 minutes). Turn off the heat and leave another 5 minutes. Meanwhile skin the tomatoes by nicking the skin near the stem with a sharp knife, putting them in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Leave a minute, then drain and cover with cold water. The skins should come away easily. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Spread the rice out in a shallow dish and leave to cool for five minutes then add the chopped tomatoes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a few drops of wine vinegar and mix well. Just before serving add a couple of heaped tablespoons of torn basil or tarragon leaves and toss the salad again, adding a little extra olive oil if you think it needs it. Best served at room temperature. (Particularly good with grilled chicken).